Aerospace & Defense Industries in Connecticut

Connecticut has been a pioneer in aerospace and defense for centuries. From Colt’s invention of the revolver to Sikorsky’s creation of the world’s first commercial helicopter to the christening of the world’s first nuclear submarine at Electric Boat's shipyards, Connecticut has long been a focal point for defense industry leadership and innovation. Once nicknamed the Arsenal of Democracy, Connecticut manufacturers bring in more than $21.4 billion annually in defense contracts1.


“Connecticut is an excellent fit for us. We have found the talent, customers, academic partnerships, and state support in one place. The partnerships we have been able to establish in Connecticut have been vital to our success and growth.”

Tim te Riele, Head of Hanwha Aerospace International Engines Business


Connecticut is home to “Aerospace Alley,” an industrial ecosystem of thousands of advanced manufacturing companies drawing from the 6th most productive workforce2 in America. Anchored by internationally renowned companies like jet engine-maker Pratt & Whitney, Connecticut is the #1 location in the U.S. for aircraft engine and engine parts manufacturing3 in terms of both jobs and GDP, with more than 25% of all aircraft engine and parts manufacturing4 located here. Based on the strength of our aerospace and shipbuilding industries, Connecticut is one of only a few states in the country to earn the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) designation. With this prestigious designation comes access to more than $1 billion in federal funds for manufacturing economic development.


Key Facts


for aerospace worker productivity9


in the nation for Aerospace & Defense Leadership6


state for per capita federal defense contract dollars5


most per capita aerospace employment in the U.S.11


Aerospace and Defense Support in Connecticut

  • Connecticut Manufacturing Innovation Fund Voucher Program — a State fund to support the growth, innovation, and progress of the advanced manufacturing sector administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to provide grants and support an array of initiatives
  • Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology — an applied technology demonstration and training center that validates, demonstrates, and assists with the adoption of leading-edge technologies into global industrial companies and the advanced manufacturing supply chain, while providing the training and education necessary to utilize the capability of these advancements and drive efficiency
  • CONNSTEP — a business consulting firm focused on identifying opportunities for growth, improving productivity, and ensuring competitiveness 
  • Connecticut Procurement Technical Assistance Center — supports national security by ensuring a broad base of capable, Connecticut suppliers for the defense industry and other government agencies while increasing the state's business economic base

Accelerate Growth & Innovation


Aerospace & Defense/Manufacturing Industry Sector Snapshot


◄ Get an in-depth look at Connecticut’s aerospace and defense industry cluster.

  • industry trends and dynamics
  • concentrations of talent and workforce pipelines in Connecticut
  • Connecticut's regulatory environment
  • logistical and infrastructure considerations
  • the state’s strengths for companies in the state
  • data and resources for companies seeking market entry into Connecticut


Learn more about Connecticut's key industries in our detailed snapshots.

1Department of Defense, 2022; 2U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2022, AdvanceCT calculations; 3Lightcast, 2022, AdvanceCT calculations; 4Lightcast, 2022, AdvanceCT calculations; 5Department of Defense, 2022; 6Business Facilities Magazine, 2023; 7Lightcast, 2020, AdvanceCT calculations; 8Lightcast, 2022; AdvanceCT calculations; 9Lightcast, 2021, AdvanceCT calculations; 10U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022; 11U.S. Census Bureau, CBP, 2021; 12Lightcast, 2021, AdvanceCT calculations)