Companies in this industry make products such as aircraft instruments, flight recorders, navigational instruments, and radar and sonar systems. Major companies include FLIR and divisions of defense contractors such as Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon (all based in the US), as well as Airbus Group (the Netherlands), BAE Systems (the UK), Bharat Electronics (India), China Aerospace Times Electronics (China), Furuno Electric (Japan), and Thales (France).
Demand depends on discretionary consumer income, general economic conditions, and federal budgets for defense and homeland security. Large companies have advantages in purchasing power, manufacturing volume, and distribution efficiencies. Small companies compete by offering specialized products and providing subcontracting services to larger system integrators. The US industry is highly concentrated: the largest eight companies account for about 75% of revenue; the largest 50 account for about 95%.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include radar (radio detection and ranging), sonar (sound navigation ranging), and thermographic technology. Manufacturers develop a wide array of products for commercial and military markets. Products for commercial markets include depth finders; fish finders; air traffic control systems; navigational aids for ships, planes, and land vehicles; and speed detection devices. Military applications include most of these products, along with radar defense systems.