Aerospace and defence
Northern Ireland is a global leader in aerospace technology.
Northern Ireland has a dynamic, rapidly growing international aerospace industry founded on a strong engineering heritage and rich in knowledge, skills and experience.
Credibility and experience
Every major commercial aircraft programme depends on structures, components and expert services from Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland Aerospace is fully integrated with the UK industry, the world’s second-largest aerospace nation after the USA. Valued at US$2.4bn, Northern Ireland's aerospace industry is one of Europe’s leading aerospace regions in revenue terms.
Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer, BAE Systems, Spirit AeroSystems and GKN Aerospace are among the OEMs and Tier One firms currently working with Northern Ireland aerospace companies.
Areas of expertise
We offer a reliable, successful and competitive supply chain with expertise in key technologies including:
- Composites design and manufacturing
- Advanced metal forming
- Precision manufacturing
- Seating and interiors
- Design and stress
- Tooling design and manufacturing
Opportunities for right sourcing
Our key selling points include:
- Major ongoing company investment in technology, people and R&D to prepare for expanding production rates
- Proven ability to ramp up quickly - companies have successfully doubled output in two years
- Ability to support new programmes - demonstrated by the A220 Wing Programme in Northern Ireland
- Established, successful Supply Chain Quality System - SC21. 3 Northern Ireland Gold Award holders - Denroy Plastics, Industrial Precision Components and Moyola Precision
- Reduced cycle times and a focus on driving lean and innovation in the production system
- Strong supply chain collaboration
- Low risk, culturally compatible environment
Access to world-class research centres of excellence
Northern Ireland is home to a number of centres of excellence undertaking industrially relevant research and channelling university expertise into the development of sophisticated products and processes.
Northern Ireland for foreign direct investment
Northern Ireland is an attractive place for investment in the aerospace sector thanks to a combination of factors including skills availability, excellent infrastructure, cost-effectiveness and a supportive business environment.
Watch our Aerospace & Defence video
International investors successfully operating in the region include:
Spirit AeroSystems Belfast operation is the largest investor in Northern Ireland and the largest manufacturing company, with a total workforce of around 3,800. It specialises in the design and development of complex composite and metallic structures, including wings, engine nacelles and fuselages and has a comprehensive after-market support business.
Collins Aerospace International designs and manufactures crushers, screeners, trommels, stackers and washing systems for use in a wide range of industries including aggregates processing, mining, landscaping, C&D, waste management and recycling. Its high quality products are renowned for their performance, reliability and user-friendly features.
Thales is a global technology leader in the Aerospace, Transportation and Defence & Security markets. In 2018, the company generated revenues of €19 billion with 80,000 employees in 68 countries. Thales in the UK is a team of over 6,500 experts, located across 10 key sites. In 2018, Thales UK’s revenues were around £1.3 billion.
Thompson Aero Seating
Thompson Aero Seating is recognised as a market leader for cutting edge design, engineering and manufacture of premium class, full-flat bed airline seating. Thompson’s bespoke solutions maximise passengers’ personal space and through intelligent design, optimise every inch of the cabin. On-going exploration of new concepts, materials and technologies ensures that Thompson is always at the forefront of product development and innovation.