In the 21st century, Aerospace and Defense (A&D) companies took a different approach to a changing defense environment. Rather than seeking to capture a larger share of the declining market, they focused on becoming more efficient and gaining dominance in select technology areas and production capabilities. The large firms such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and BAE Systems are “doubling down” in such areas as aircraft, precision weapons, land vehicles and cyber. The mid-size A&D firms have shown themselves to be possibly even more agile and creative in responding to changing circumstances and new demands. Textron, best known for producing the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, along with Boeing, is establishing a competitive position in unmanned vehicles, advanced fixed wing and rotorcraft systems and the sensors and test equipment to support them. Sierra Nevada Corporation is successfully leveraging its experience and strength in systems to jam radio-controlled improvised explosive devices to provide new advanced electronic warfare systems. I have written more about the evolution of the A&D sector for RealClearDefense here.
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