Aerospace & Defense

A leader in research and development, and the nation’s second highest percentage of professional and technical workers, makes Maryland an ideal location for companies ready to start or grow their aerospace or defense business.

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Maryland Aerospace & Defense Story

Maryland is a thriving location for space exploration, satellite technology and research, design and manufacturing of military aircraft, UAVs and robotics. The industry includes Department of Defense related activities such as biodefense, cybersecurity, avionics, informatics and ordnance weapons testing. Maryland is home to 14 of America’s top 25 aerospace companies, as well as 70 of the top 100 defense contractors and more than 20 military facilities. Together, these assets make Maryland the perfect location for aerospace and defense. That’s why 9,020 aerospace and defense companies call Maryland home.


  • University of Maryland undergraduate and graduate aerospace engineering programs rank 9th and 13th, respectively.
  • 2nd among the states in the percentage of professional and technical workers.
  • Highest concentration of computer information and research scientists in the nation.
  • 4th in the nation in the concentration of aerospace engineers in the workforce, twice the average for the U.S.


Percentage of technical & professional workers in the workforce (highest in nation).


  • Ranks first in total federal obligations for research and development ($16.8 billion).
  • Highest concentration of technology establishments in the nation.
  • 350 research centers, including Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Naval Air Systems Command, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Baltimore’s Space Telescope Science Institute, Johns Hopkins University Applied Research Lab,  Army Research Laboratory and NOAA.
  • 20 military facilities and 60+ federal agencies.
  • Lockheed Martin has HQ in Bethesda, and Northrop Grumman and Booz Allen Hamilton have significant Maryland presence.
Research Centers


  • Naval Air Station Patuxent River and its auxiliary Webster Field Annex are two of the nation’s leading UAS locations.
  • A University of Maryland UAS test facility near the Naval Air Station Patuxent River serves as a catalyst for UAS commercialization.
  • UAS integration between 2015 and 2025 is projected to exert $2B economic impact on the state and create 2,549 jobs.
Job projections resulting from UAS integration between 2015 and 2025


  • New Horizons mission, designed, built, operated and managed by Johns Hopkins APL for NASA, was the first spacecraft to visit Pluto in 2015.
  • Joint Polar Satellite System, a collaborative effort of NASA and NOAA, represents the significant technological and scientific advancements in severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring.
  • The Space Telescope Science Institute is a multi-mission operations center for NASA and a world-class astronomical research center.

Maryland Aerospace & Defense Leaders


$14.18B total wages (2015); $33.03B gross state product (2014); 131,970 employment (2015); $8.54B federal procurement (FY2015)
Maryland Aerospace & Defense Fact Sheet
Maryland Aerospace Brochure

Featured Maryland Aerospace Resource:
U.S. Army Research Laboratory

Maryland-based United States Army Research Lab is the Army’s central laboratory. It has a diverse assortment of unique facilities and a dedicated workforce of government and private sector partners, which make up the largest source of world-class integrated research and analysis in the Army. Combining its in-house technical expertise with academic and industry partners, ARL provides the best technologies for U.S. Soldiers, including the futuristic resupply vehicle, featured in the video (right).

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Ken McCreedy

Ken McCreedy
Director of Cyber Development

Randy Tebeest

Randy TeBeest
Aerospace Program Manager

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