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An aerospace manufacturer is a company or individual involved in the various aspects of designing, building, testing, selling, and maintaining aircraft, aircraft parts, missiles, rockets, and/or spacecraft. Aerospace is a high technology industry.
In the European Union, aerospace companies such as EADS, BAE Systems, Thales, Dassault, Saab AB, and Finmeccanica account for a large share of the global aerospace industry and research effort, with the European Space Agency as one of the largest consumers of aerospace technology and products.
In Russia, large aerospace companies like Oboronprom and the United Aircraft Building Corporation (encompassing Mikoyan, Sukhoi, Ilyushin, Tupolev, Yakovlev, and Irkut, which includes Beriev) are among the major global players in this industry.
In the United States, the Department of Defense and NASA are the two biggest consumers of aerospace technology and products. The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States reported that the aerospace industry employed 444,000 wage and salary jobs in 2004, many of which were in Washington and California, this marked a steep decline from the peak years during the Reagan Administration when total employment exceeded 1,000,000 aerospace industry workers. During that period of recovery a special program to restore U.S. competitiveness across all U.S. industries, Project Socrates, contributed to employment growth as the U.S. aerospace industry captured 72 percent of world aerospace market. By 1999 U.S. share of the world market fell to 52 percent. Leading companies like Boeing, United Technologies Corporation and Lockheed Martin Corp. are among the most widely known aerospace manufacturers in the world.
Important locations of the civil aerospace industry worldwide include Seattle, Wichita, Kansas, Dayton, Ohio and St. Louis in the United States (Boeing), Montreal in Canada (Bombardier), Toulouse in France and Hamburg in Germany (Airbus, EADS), the North-West of England and Bristol in Britain (BAE Systems, Airbus and AgustaWestland), Nagoya in Japan (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Aerospace and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Aerospace), as well as São José dos Campos in Brazil where Embraer is based. Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Irkutsk in Russia.
Several consolidations took place in the aerospace and defense industries over the last few decades. Between 1988 and 2010, more than 5,452 mergers & acquisitions with a total known-value of $579 billion were announced worldwide. The largest transactions include the merger of Boeing with McDonnell Douglas valued at $13.4 billion in 1996, Marconi Electronic Systems, a subsidiary of the General Electric Company plc, was acquired by British Aerospace for $12.9 billion in 1999 merger and was renamed BAE Systems, and Raytheon acquired Hughes Aircraft for $9.5 billion in 1997.
- List of aircraft manufacturers
- List of aircraft accidents
- List of spacecraft manufacturers
- Parker, Dana T. Building Victory: Aircraft Manufacturing in the Los Angeles Area in World War II, pp. 131-2, Cypress, CA, 2013.
- "Statistics on Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) - M&A Courses | Company Valuation Courses | Mergers & Acquisitions Courses". Imaa-institute.org. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
- "McDonnell Douglas Press Releases 96-317". Boeing.com. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
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- Hartley, Keith. The Political Economy Of Aerospace Industries: A Key Driver of Growth and International Competitiveness? (Edward Elgar, 2014); 288 pages; the industry in Britain, continental Europe, and the US with a case study of BAE Systems.
- Newhouse, John. The Sporty Game: The High-Risk Competitive Business of Making and Selling Commercial Airliners. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982. ISBN 978-0-394-51447-5.
- Aerospace Industries Association
- Associação das Indústrias Aeroespaciais do Brasil (Aerospace Industries Association of Brazil) (Portuguese)