Aerospace and defence

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.

Find out more about Northern Ireland Aerospace

Find out more about Northern Ireland's emerging Space Sector


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


Who's here

International investors successfully operating in the region include:


Bombardier’s Belfast operation is the largest investor in Northern Ireland and the largest manufacturing company, with a total workforce of around 4,000. 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

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.

Collins Aerospace


Magellan Aerospace develops and produces complex and integrated products and services that bring value to customers, serving the civil aerospace and defence markets across the globe. Magellan primarily supplies machined components for airframes, engine nacelles, landing gear and flight controls to the UK and global aerospace industry from its Northern Ireland facility.



Thales in Belfast is the centre of excellence for missile systems design, development and manufacturing within the Thales group. From its Belfast site, Thales has been the world’s leading provider of very short range air defence capability systems for over 60 years.


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.

Thompson Aero Seating

Find out more about preparing for Brexit in the Aerospace & defence sector.

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