Since the importance of air power was recognized after World War I, aerospace technology has played a vital role in providing militaries around the world with aircraft capable of both attack and defense. Aerospace technology providers design, develop, and manufacture airframes, avionics, and other components necessary to keep fighter jets and bombers flying. Entering the defense industry can seem intimidating with all the well known big name players, but there are opportunities for those new to the business of exporting. One of the best ways to find these opportunities is to understand where aerospace technology is being used today.
As one of the best known aerospace technology manufacturers, Boeing is the third largest defense contractor and the largest aerospace defense provider to the United States military alone, with sales equaling half of their overall profit. Boeing has provided the militaries throughout the world with classic fighter aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle and F-18 Hornet, as well as the formidable American stealth bomber, the B-2 Spirit. Boeing exports its aerospace technology to over 90 countries.
One of the largest competitors Boeing faces for military contracts, Lockheed Martin was formed in 1995 after a merger between Lockheed Corporation and Martin Marietta. Both of these companies have helped to design and produce two of the most popular and prevalent aircraft in the world, the F-16 Falcon and the C-130 Hercules. Recently, Lockheed also had a hand in the development of the F-22 Raptor.
BAE Systems, a British defense contractor founded in 1999, ranked as the largest defense provider in 2008, selling more products and technologies to the US Department of Defense, than to the UK Ministry of Defense. Although BAE develops technology for air, land, and sea based weapons, this diversification does not hinder their ability to create formidable aircraft as well. BAE, along with its partner company EADS, who created the Eurofighter Typhoon, was a subcontractor for the Northrop Grumman KC-45 refueling airframe, and is helping with the development of the joint strike fighter known as the F-35 Lightning.
Although these key players dominate the aerospace and defense industries, other manufacturers make develop aerospace technology for military aircraft. Honeywell, well known for consumer security products, produces instrumentation, avionics, and radar equipment for a wide variety of aerospace and defense manufacturers. Rockwell Collins also provides avionics, radar, and TCAS components for military and commercial aircraft. General Electric is one of the most popular aircraft engine manufacturers for almost every American fighter, bomber, and commercial aircraft.
A final note for potential exporters: Most aerospace technology also has dual use (which additionally means it does not fall under the jurisdiction of the State Department) in commercial aerospace applications. Well known commercial airframes such as the Boeing 767 and the Airbus A320 share many similarities with military airframes and can use technologies almost 100% interchangeably. In fact, NASA, who works closely with Boeing and other aerospace technology providers, determines at least one commercial use and one military use for every technology it develops. For businesses that deal in exports, almost any US ally would make an excellent export opportunity for dual use aerospace technology.
Elymat Industries Inc. is a professional export outsourcing company. Serving the Military Aerospace Industry for 35 years, we specialize in obtaining US State Department and Commerce Department licenses to ship these products overseas.http://www.elymat.com/