The aircraft manufacturing sector is beginning to recover after manufacturers reported some of the lowest volumes of aircraft orders in more than a decade during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, the industry faces new and continuing challenges, including skills shortages, rising costs, and developing technologies to mitigate aviation’s impact on climate change.
Meanwhile, defense manufacturing has remained on an upward trend. The sectors most likely to emerge as drivers of global growth for the defense industry include intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) technologies, as well as the cybersecurity sector and the application of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The key contractors of military aircraft include Europe’s Airbus, as well as U.S.-based Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman.
Leading aircraft manufacturers
Airbus and Boeing
Size of the civil aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul market
Airbus and Boeing dominate the world’s airliner fleet. The two aircraft manufacturers produce highly successful jet models, including the Airbus A320 and Boeing’s 737 aircraft. The Boeing 737 was often named as one of the best-selling jets worldwide before coming under scrutiny for misleading the authorities during the approval process of the 737 MAX aircraft, which led to two aircraft crashes. Bombardier, Embraer, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries compete for the remaining market.
The U.S. holds the largest share of worldwide military outlays, accounting for around 40 percent of global defense spending. Conflicting interests between countries stress the development of more military technology innovations. For instance, drones have become an indispensable weapon and are in great demand in many parts of the world.
Private companies have long been involved in the space industry, but recent years have seen a marked shift in dominance from governmental space agencies to the private sector. Some of the most prominent companies in the industry, such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Relativity Space, are attracting large amounts of funding to develop technologies that allow private space exploration. Reusable launch vehicles and rockets are a key focus for the industry to bring down costs and increase competitivenes
Boeing, Airbus, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics are ranked among the leading aerospace and defense technology companies worldwide. The two largest jet manufacturers, Airbus and Illinois-headquartered Boeing, form a de facto duopoly in the aircraft manufacturing industry. Aside from commercial aircraft, both companies also produce military aircraft, rockets, satellites, communications equipment, and missiles.
The United States, France, and Germany are ranked among the most important markets for aerospace products. The U.S. market contributed some 89 billion U.S. dollars in aerospace exports in 2021, making it the leading country in terms of sales value. The country is also home to some of the leading aircraft manufacturers in the world, such as Boeing and Raytheon.
The aerospace manufacturing and defense industry comprises the manufacturing of aircraft, space vehicles, engines and parts, as well as maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services. Aerospace manufacturing can be segmented into defense and commercial aerospace manufacturing. Within this sector, Statista presents the most relevant and up-to-date facts relating to the manufacture of aerial vehicles and the defense industry. Data on a global, regional, and country scale is available, integrated with information on the largest players and rankings.