Aerospace & Defense in Missouri

A Global Leader in the Aerospace and Defense Industry

From Charles Lindbergh, to the Mars Missions, to the International Space Station, Missouri has led the way in every aspect of aviation for nearly 100 years and that leadership continues today. Statewide, Missouri is already home to 100 aerospace manufacturing companies, including:

  • Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security in St. Louis is the U.S.’s second largest defense contractor and has more than 16,000 employees in Missouri.
  • GKN Aerospace employs approximately 600 highly-skilled workers at their aerospace manufacturing facility in St. Louis.
  • Seyer Industries in St. Peters specializes in high-complexity machined parts for the aerospace industry.
  • PAS Technologies near Kansas City manufactures, maintains and overhauls components in the aerospace industry.
  • NEMO Manufacturing, a manufacturer of electrical components for fighter jets in La Grange expanded in 2017.

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

Top State for the Defense Industry

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

Missouri’s most notable defense industry companies include:

  • NGA recently chose Missouri as the site of their new $1.75 billion western headquarters. “The St. Louis city site provides NGA with the most technological, academic and professional environment,” agency director Robert Cardillo said. And the urban base is preferable to “attract, recruit and retain” its more than 3,000 high-tech workers.
  • DRS Technologies currently has two defense locations in Missouri, DRS Land Systems HQ in St. Louis and a 100-acre heavy equipment manufacturing facility in West Plains. The company recently announced a combined $32 million investment in both facilities.
  • World Wide Technology, headquartered in St. Louis, is a global leader in computer system design for the defense industry.
  • Northrop Grumman Innovation SystemsSmall Caliber Systems is based in Independence, Missouri, where the company has produced more than eight billion rounds of small-caliber ammunition in the last five years.

And when it comes to military bases, Missouri is home to Whiteman Air Force Base and America’s B-2 Spirit stealth bomber fleet. Missouri is also home to Rosecrans Air National Guard Base and their “Top Gun” C-130 training program, and Fort Leonard Wood Army Base with the U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence.

Top State for Geospatial Analysis and Cybersecurity

Geospatial analysis and cybersecurity are emerging sectors in Missouri, with solid foundations due to the presence of NGA and their thousands of employees. Programs focused on growing this field include:

  • Twenty colleges across Missouri have cybersecurity programs, and many are also engaged in research related to cybersecurity
  • SixThirty CYBER, a cybersecurity focused seed fund and business development program, provides startups with up to $250K in funding and focused mentorship
  • The new Geospatial Resource and Innovation Center has launched at T-REX in downtown St. Louis
  • NGA has engaged with St. Louis’ LaunchCode to establish coding apprenticeships for talented individuals who lack the traditional IT credentials

43 Missouri institutions offer aerospace and defense related degrees and certificates, 20 offer degrees or certificates in cybersecurity and 15 offer degrees in precision production.

Top State for Workforce Development and Customized Training

Missouri understands that an educated and trained workforce is essential to success. We offer traditional and non-traditional training options for workers and companies that is customized to fit their needs. A key example is the customized pre-employment training developed by Boeing and St. Louis Community College. Additionally the CyberUp! works extensively across Missouri to assist with workforce development.

Training programs are also developing the talent pipeline at several Knowledge Centers. These Centers connect talent and industry together in a real-world environment that moves the industry forward. 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:

Look Who’s Already Here:

Arnold Defense
Boeing Defense Space and Security
EaglePicher Technologies
Essex Industries
GKN Aerospace
LMI Aerospace
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
World Wide Technology

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