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Aerospace and aviation represents Arkansas’ #1 export, and we are home to nearly 170 well-known aerospace and defense companies that include MRO, component parts, completion centers, and defense contractors as well as the Little Rock Air Force Base. The state is also home to the Highland Industrial Park, one of the nation’s fastest growing defense corridors, with companies like Aerojet Rocketdyne, Esterline, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. 


Dassault Falcon Jet

Dassault Falcon Jet, an international aerospace company, operates its largest facility in the world in Little Rock, Arkansas. Sébastien Deltheil, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Dassault Falcon Jet Completion Center in Little Rock, discusses why operating in Arkansas makes business sense for Dassault Falcon Jet.

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Pratt Whitney
You're in good company

AEDC's mission is to create economic opportunity by attracting higher paying jobs, expanding and diversifying our state and local economies, increasing incomes and investment, and generating positive growth throughout Arkansas. Here are some examples of businesses that are thriving!

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Aerospace and Defense Companies in Arkansas
  • Fourth lowest cost of doing business and the third lowest cost of living nationally
  • Competitive incentives and a streamlined state government
  • Arkansas is one of 28 Right to work states
  • Strong support from Governor Asa Hutchinson and our Congressional delegation
  • Home to 170 Aerospace/Defense companies, including Dassault Falcon Jet, which has established its largest facility in the world in central Arkansas, along with Lockheed Martin, Aerojet Rocketdyne, General Dynamics, and other industry leaders
  • Aerospace/Defense is Arkansas’ leading export. In 2017, aircraft & aircraft parts were Arkansas’s largest category of export with over $1.5 B dollars in goods exported
  • Numerous available sites with runway access and aviation-focused facilities
  • 8,276 employees in Aerospace/Defense manufacturing; 4,050 directly engaged in aerospace products and parts manufacturing
  • 2,528 Airframe and Powertrain (A&P) licensed mechanics
  • The Little Rock Air Force Base has more than 6,600 personnel, including civilians, active duty, and Army Reserve Force
  • Since 2010, 10,000+ aerospace and defense jobs have been created in Arkansas.
  • 45 colleges, universities & 2-year colleges throughout Arkansas
  • Five educational institutions offer certification in Aviation Maintenance Technology including both Powerplant and Airframe mechanic career education
  • 21 colleges, universities, and 2-year colleges, all high schools and several other organizations offer coursework, instruction or degrees in cybersecurity.
  • The Arkansas Department of Education's cybersecurity education initiative offers free coursework to all high school students with an interest in the field.
  • Over 2,100 engineering-related certificates and degrees awarded annually

The aerospace industry in Arkansas was represented at the 2022 Farnborough International Airshow. A delegation of Arkansas officials, economic developers, and executives promoted the state’s friendly business environment and aerospace industry during the event.

Aerospace & Defense Industry Executive Overview

Aerospace & Defense Companies in Arkansas

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Jarod Wickliffe

Senior Project Manager

(501) 682-2555

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