Aerospace & Defense


Arizona is one of the largest and fastest-growing aerospace centers in the United States and a proven, recognized national leader in training, testing and developing the future of the aerospace and defense industry — unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

These highly sensitive aircraft, maneuvered by a pilot in a remote location, are a vital tool not only for national defense, but also for search and rescue operations and law enforcement (unmanned systems have the ability to enter environments that could be dangerous to human life).

Arizona's geographic diversity, unmatched experience, robust supply chain and 350 days per year of perfect flying weather prove ideal for leading the nation in UAS testing, training and development.

UAS Testing and Training Leader:

  • Arizona’s airspace has more than 33,000 manned/unmanned flight hours
  • Fort Huachuca:
    • Home to the world's largest UAS Training Center, nearly 12,000 members of the military UAS-trained and certified
    • Proven capability for flight data capture and analysis established Air Traffic Control (ATC) concepts and operator certification standards readily applied to the FAA-UAS test ranges
  • Yuma Proving Ground:
    • The nation's premier unmanned aircraft test range
    • Infrastructure in place and currently capable of testing for all ranges of UAS (Groups 1-5)
  • AzTRC: accommodates small, medium and large UAS operations

Military Proximity:

  • UAS test ranges located near current Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and Air National Guard UAS Operations

Natural assets:

  • Wide open land helping facilitate the ease of directing and maneuvering UAS
  • Geographic and climatic diversity

Industry Leadership:

  • Home to numerous large aerospace and defense contractors developing, testing and producing aerospace vehicles, sensors, components and technology

A&D Research Leadership:

  • Exceptional aerospace and engineering education and research at ASU, UofA, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, NAU,Arizona Laboratories for Security and Defense Research (AZLabs) and Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz).

Skilled Workforce:

  • Training programs at Embry Riddle, ASU, UofA, and Cochise College

Peerless Portfolio:

  • 1,300 aerospace companies with major operations and/or A&D supply chain support
  • Boeing, General Dynamics, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Aerospace, Orbital Sciences, Raytheon, L-3 Communication, United Technologies, Bombardier and more