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.


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.

5 Military Installations

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

#1 Most Prepared for Drones

Oklahoma is ranked #1 in preparedness for the drone industry by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Aerospace Degrees

9 of Oklahoma’s colleges and universities offer aerospace degrees and certifications

120,000+ Employees

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

#12 Most Gun-Friendly State

According to Guns & Ammo, Oklahoma received high scores in every category for the 2024 ranking.

ONLY Bachelor's in Gunsmithing in the U.S.

Murray State College was approved to offer the first and only bachelor’s in Gunsmithing in America with the first class beginning in Fall 2024.

Find us at Air, Space & Cyber Conference Booth #1617
in National Harbor, Maryland Sept. 11-13

Air, Space & Cyber 2023 Partner Directory

Critical Components Logo Aerospace

Critical Components Aerospace

Tim Frisby, Managing Partner

Critical Components, based in Oklahoma City, manufactures components for the Aerospace, Defense and Space sectors. Combining our highly skilled manufacturing and project management team with our AS9100D Certified, ITAR registered and DCMA Inspected facilities, Critical Components brings a new level of excellence and value to the Aerospace industry. Our business model is to provide high-tolerance CNC machining, best-in-class special processes and exacting AS9102-based manufacturing process verifications. Critical Components, a WOSB, has the unique ability to provide complete turnkey services to Government and Prime customers, both domestic and foreign.

“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


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 12 licensed U.S. space ports — 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 13,503 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 — 76,000 students are trained through the center annually.

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 entities

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.

Central Region (Oklahoma City)

Tinker AFB
Federal Aviation Administration

  • AAR
  • Acorn Growth Companies
  • Boeing
  • Bombardier
  • Delaware Resource Group
  • Field Aerospace
  • Frontier Electronic Systems Corp.
  • GE Aviation
  • General Dynamics
  • Kratos Defense & Security Solutions
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Meta Special Aerospace
  • Moog
  • Northrop Grumman
  • North Star Scientific
  • Pratt & Whitney
  • Raytheon Advanced Radar Systems/Technologies
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Skydweller
  • SkyWest

Northeast Region (Tulsa)

Tulsa Air National Guard

  • American Airlines MRO
  • BizJet (Lufthansa Technik)
  • Consolidated Turbine Specialists, a Kratos Company
  • Ferra Aerospace
  • FlightSafety
  • Intercontinental Jet Service Corp.
  • L3Harris
  • Lufthansa Technik
  • MST Manufacturing
  • Malone’s CNC Machining
  • Orizon Aerostructures
  • Spirit AeroSystems
  • Valence Surface Technologies
  • Vertical Aerospace
  • WHI Global


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


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

Northwest Region

Vance AFB

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

Southeast Region

McAlester Army Ammunition Plant
  • AERO Component Repair
  • Choctaw Defense
  • Choctaw Nation Daisy Ranch
  • Enviro Systems

Southwest Region

Altus AFB
Fort Sill

  • BAE Systems
  • Duncan Machine
  • Oklahoma Air & Space Port
  • Raytheon Missile & Defense

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Unmanned Aerial Systems
Autonomous systems are a key priority in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is the premier location for the ever-evolving unmanned systems sector. Key assets and test sites across the state are setting the stage for research and development, manufacturing and more. Find out more about the state’s Advanced Air Mobility and Unmanned Systems Sector.

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.

National Severe Storms Laboratory

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

Choctaw Nation Daisy Ranch

Daisy Ranch is a 44,000+ acre site for the development of a UAS RDT&E site and an industrial park. Here, the Choctaw Nation is hosting its BEYOND program, a partnership with the FAA and other industry partners to safely test and validate advanced UAS operations.

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.

Download our brochure on Oklahoma unmanned systems. Inside you will find more information about Oklahoma's unmanned systems test sites, workforce data, incentives and more.
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