Missouri is a Top Aerospace Manufacturer in North America

Our rich history in aviation, specifically military aviation, has helped make Missouri one of the top aerospace manufacturing providers in a country that’s already at the forefront of new technology. From Charles Lindbergh to modern aerospace technology from Boeing, we’ve been leading the way for more than 100 years.

Boeing, with its Defense, Space and Security manufacturing facility in St. Louis, Missouri, is one of the country’s largest defense contractors. Its primary activity is aerospace manufacturing, but it also participates in aircraft parts manufacturing, ammunition manufacturing, and engineering services.

Today, more than 16,000 of Missouri’s highly trained workforce builds advanced military jets at Boeing’s Defense, Space and Security facilities, along with a huge array of military ordinance and commercial composite parts. And that cutting edge innovation takes place across the state in more than 100 aerospace manufacturing companies.

Missouri’s Defense Industry is Real World and Virtual

Missouri is home to the western campus of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) where the U.S. Government is currently investing $1.75 billion to expand NGA’s presence in Missouri.

Rendering of the planned NGA West HQ in St. Louis

From the 3,000+ (and increasing) employees at NGA West in St. Louis, to EaglePicher‘s high-tech lithium batteries built in Joplin, plus the Kansas City National Security Campus supporting the warfighter, Missouri is a defense industry leader in the heart of America. According to a recent study, the Department of Defense invests $18.2 billion annually in Missouri, directly impacting more than 25,000 businesses.

Missouri’s military bases

DRS Technologies has two locations in Missouri, DRS Land Systems HQ in St. Louis and a 100-acre heavy equipment manufacturing facility in West Plains. World Wide Technology, headquartered in St. Louis, is a global leader in computer system design for the defense industry. The Olin Winchester Lake City Ammunition Plant in Independence is the largest producer of small-arms munitions for the Department of Defense, producing over a billion rounds per year.

Missouri Has Talent

Missouri’s talent pool benefits from centers of excellence and knowledge centers around the state.

The Center for Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies (CAMT) at Missouri S&T, for example, is a national center of excellence for the aerospace manufacturing supply chain. Its industrial consortium includes The Boeing Company, GKN Aerospace, 3D-printing manufacturer Stratasys and other industry leaders.

Other knowledge centers include:

  • Aviation Institute of Maintenance (Kansas City)
  • Flight Safety International (Berkeley)
  • Missouri S&T (Rolla)
  • Saint Louis University
  • Southeast Missouri State (Cape Girardeau)
  • St. Louis Community College
  • State Technical College of Missouri (Linn)
  • University of Central Missouri (Warrensburg)
  • Washington University in St. Louis

In total, 36 Missouri institutions offer aerospace and defense related degrees and certificates and 13 offer degrees in precision production. When it comes to colleges offering degrees in engineering and engineering technology, there are 22 offering associates programs, 20 bachelors, 9 masters and 4 PhD.

Nearly one in ten Missouri workers are employed in manufacturing, with automotive and aerospace being the sector’s largest components.

BioSTL recently launched the Center for Defense Medicine through a $1.5 million grant awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). The new center will use the commercialization programs of BioSTL’s investment arm, BioGenerator, to support St. Louis startups as they develop and advance products and technology for use by the U.S. military.

Look Who’s Already Here:

Boeing Defense Space and Security
LMI Aerospace

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Sal Maniaci

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