Aerospace + Defense | Oklahoma Department of Commerce

Aerospace + Defense

Soar to success in the land of opportunity

Oklahoma has a legacy of aerospace innovation and success dating back more than 100 years, with pioneers like Wiley Post, who launched his career of exploring the limits of high-altitude, long-distance flight in our state.

Today, some of the world’s most successful aerospace companies operate in Oklahoma.

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Aerospace + Defense Quick Facts

MRO Capital of the World

Home to the largest Department of Defense air depot and commercial airline MRO facility in the world. 

1,100+ Aerospace Entities

More than 1,100 aerospace entities operate in the state including manufacturers, MRO, research and development, military and others.

Aerospace Degrees

12 of Oklahoma’s colleges and universities have aerospace programs.

120,000+ Employees

More than 120,000 Oklahomans are employed in Oklahoma’s aerospace and defense industries.

5 Military Installations

Oklahoma boasts five military installations, two air national guard operations and numerous aerospace assets, including the Oklahoma Air & Spaceport.

“We have been asked ‘Why Grove, Oklahoma?’ We could have built in Los Angeles and the city would have said ‘This is just another business.’ In Oklahoma, we matter…”
Karl Strauss, Director, Ferra Aerospace

Imagine the Possibilities

Incentives

Not only is Oklahoma a right-to-work state with labor costs 25 percent below the national average, but we also offer a variety of business incentives like the Aerospace Industry Engineer Workforce Tax Credit and 21st Century Quality Jobs Program.

Committed to Growing Aerospace

In Oklahoma, aerospace matters and we’ve proved it with the creation of the ACES program and Oklahoma’s Aerospace + Defense Team. We’re growing and diversifying the sector through workforce development, support of existing businesses and recruitment of new investment to the state.

Oklahoma Air + Space Port

One of only 10 licensed U.S. spaceports — the only one in unrestricted airspace. The “Infinity One” space flight corridor is 152 miles long and 45 miles wide. The facility contains 50,000 square feet of manufacturing space, 6 commercial aircraft hangars for lease and a 13,504 x 300 ft. primary runway.

Unmanned Systems

In the emerging unmanned industry, our unique mix of terrain and testing capacity make Oklahoma perfect for UAS/UAV research and development. Oklahoma is a UAS hub for fire and rescue, precision agriculture, safety and security, transmission monitoring, weather, and aerial photography.

Weather Research + Technology

The National Weather Center and NOAA’s Severe Storms Laboratory are located in Norman, Okla.

FAA Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center

The Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center is the nation’s central FAA and USDOT support and training facility — 87,000 students are trained through the center annually.

  • icon-data Comprehensive Industry Guide
Download our comprehensive guide to the aerospace and defense sector. Inside you will find detailed information about Oklahoma's aerospace talent pipeline, workforce and wage data, incentives, export data and more.

Oklahoma’s Aerospace Clusters

Map of Oklahoma showing clusters of aerospace businesses

The more than 1,100 aerospace entities operating in Oklahoma encompass all aspects of the supply chain — manufacturers, MRO, research and development, military and others.

Oklahoma City Metro

Tinker AFB

  • AAR
  • Acorn Growth Companies
  • Boeing
  • Bombardier
  • Delaware Resource Group
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Field Aerospace
  • GE Aviation
  • Kratos Defense & Security Solutions
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Meta Special Aerospace
  • Moog
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Oneida
  • Pratt & Whitney
  • Rolls-Royce

Tulsa Metro

Tulsa Air National Guard

  • American Airlines MRO
  • BizJet (Lufthansa Technik)
  • Consolidated Turbine Specialists
  • FlightSafety
  • General Dynamics
  • Intercontinental Jet Service Corp.
  • L3
  • Lufthansa Technik
  • MST Manufacturing
  • NORDAM
  • Spirit AeroSystems
  • Triumph Group
  • Vertical Aerospace
  • WHI Global

Grove

  • Ferra Aerospace
  • Malone’s CNC Machining
  • Orizon Aerostructures

Stillwater

  • ASCO Aerospace USA
  • Frontier Electronic Systems Corp. (FES)

Northwest Region

Vance AFB

  • Aircraft Structures International Corporation (ASIC)
  • Vantage Plane Plastics

Southwest Region

Altus AFB

  • Fort Sill
  • BAE Systems
  • Duncan Machine
  • Raytheon

Seminole

  • Enviro Systems (Safran)
  • Air Methods

McAlester

McAlester Army Ammunition Plant

  • Choctaw Defense

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Unmanned Aerial Systems
Autonomous systems are a key priority in Oklahoma

The state’s 3 research universities, Oklahoma State University (OSU), the University of Tulsa (TU) and the University of Oklahoma (OU), are setting themselves apart nationally through degree programs, facilities, research, grants and more, with emphasis on environmental sensing, defense and weather prediction.

UAS Graduate Degree Programs

The nation’s first graduate (MS and PhD) degree programs in unmanned aerial systems engineering at a research university at Oklahoma State University.

Unmanned Systems Research Institute

OSU is home to the Unmanned Systems Research Institute (USRI) which accesses expertise across the university, combining cutting edge product development with academic knowledge and resources to create unique solutions to critical problems. USRI was the first in the U.S. to receive approval from the FAA to fly an unmanned fixed-wing aircraft swarm within national airspace.

National Weather Center

The NWC is the largest confederation of federal, university and private sector weather and climate research, education, operational and public outreach organizations on the planet. The Norman facility is the headquarters for severe storm tracking and prediction across the U.S., and is home to one of the world’s foremost programs and exceptional research laboratories in radar science and engineering.

National Severe Storms Laboratory

NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) in Norman conducts research on both cold and warm season hazardous weather events. NSSL collaborates with OU as well as OSU in Stillwater to characterize severe storms using UAS.

Choctaw Nation Emerging Aviation Technology Test Center

The Emerging Aviation Technology Test Center is a 44,000+ acre test site that includes ground-based radar, test facilities and experienced staff. The center is one of nine active UAS integration pilot program sites selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Choctaw Nation is the first tribal government recognized as a public aircraft operator by the FAA.

Projects + Partners

Between 2014 and 2019, $44 million in contracts were awarded to Oklahoma companies and institutions in support of unmanned aerial systems from sponsors that include the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Department of Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration, and numerous private companies.

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