Boeing, one of the top aerospace companies in Arlington
Boeing, one of the top aerospace companies in Arlington

Aerospace & Defense

Home of the Nation's Defense Infrastructure

It is no coincidence that eight of the top 10 defense contractors maintain a large presence in Arlington, VA. Companies such as Boeing, Raytheon, Airbus U.S. Space & Defense and Leonardo DRS are all headquartered in Arlington, while Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and Thales all maintain a significant presence.  

Arlington's rich history with the aerospace and defense industry began in 1908 when Orville Wright conducted test flights for the Army over Fort Myer. Since then, global aerospace companies have flocked to Arlington as to the world’s largest aerospace customer — the U.S. Department of Defense.

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Aerospace and Defense Companies in Arlington

Ideal Location

Top Aerospace and Defense Companies Choose Arlington 

Many of the top aerospace companies in Virginia and across the nation choose Arlington for its operations. These companies locate here to not only gain primary access to key clients, but also to take advantage of the highly experienced aerospace and defense talent pool.

These large corporations often serve as prime contractors for major aerospace and defense programs and provide subcontracting opportunities for businesses of all sizes. 

Contract Opportunities

Prime Territory for Federal Contractors 

In FY 2023, Northern Virginia companies were awarded nearly $95 billion in federal contracts, accounting for more than 15% of all federal procurement dollars. Federal contracts awarded to Arlington-based companies have increased by nearly 10% annually over the past five years. (Source:



A Top-Notch, Specialized Talent Pipeline

The Washington, D.C. metro region has more than 300,000 workers in the science and engineering field. Specialties among the region's workforce include systems engineering and integration, cybersecurity, software development and engineering, and federal government processes and procurement practices. 

Arlington's extensive aerospace and defense ecosystem makes for one of the communities richest in opportunity for aerospace engineers. Because of this Arlington experiences a steady flow of industry professionals making for the ideal location for companies looking to find and hire skilled talent.

In addition, defense companies in the Washington, D.C. region hire from a pool of thousands of active and former service members transitioning to civilian life and military veterans with security clearances. The skills they offer align well with in-demand jobs requiring specific experience, like project management, civil engineering, information technology, logistics and supply chain management.  


The World’s Largest Customer is in Arlington

The Pentagon, a hub for aerospace purchasing in Arlington.Arlington is home to the Department of Defense (DOD), headquartered within the Pentagon. Awarding nearly two-thirds of federal contracts by value, the DOD is the largest buyer of aerospace and defense goods and services in the world.

Arlington is also home to other key defense research agencies: 

  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)
  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
  • Office of Naval Research (ONR)

Additionally, it’s a quick trip from Arlington to numerous other federal agencies in the Washington, D.C. region, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Aviation Agency (FAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the nation’s policymakers on Capitol Hill.

Airbus | Location, Diverse Talent, Thought Leadership

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Sindy Yeh, CEcD

Senior Business Ambassador

A Certified Economic Developer with more than two decades of experience in business development and program management, Sindy can assist with any questions regarding expansion or relocation.

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