2021 IW U.S. 500: Top Manufacturers in Aerospace and Defense

Aug. 6, 2021
The pandemic brought about "rough air" impacting the performance of the top aerospace and defense manufacturers.

The pandemic year presented unprecedented challenges to manufacturers across the board. However, the multiple travel bans that shuttered airlines had a profound impact on manufacturers within the aerospace and defense.

Half of the companies in the top ten experienced revenue drops and four posted net losses for the year. Four of these companies still rank within the top 50 manufacturers on IW’s annual list. In addition, four manufacturers on the list slipped in ranking when compared to the previous year.

While defense appears to remain stable, the passenger travel market may remain turbulent, at least in the near future. According to Deloitte’s 2021 aerospace and defense outlook, a return prepandemic travel levels is not likely before 2024.

“This would negatively affect order books and deliveries for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). In 2021, global commercial aircraft deliveries are estimated at 950 aircraft, a decline of 41% from 2018, the peak year for deliveries. Though the commercial aircraft order backlog stood firm at about 13,421 at the end of December 2020, it was down 8.7% from the peak backlogs of about 14,700 at the end of 2018. Apart from commercial aircraft, deliveries for rotorcraft are also expected to remain nearly 15% below prepandemic levels in 2021, at 750 units. “

About the Author

Peter Fretty | Technology Editor

As a highly experienced journalist, Peter Fretty regularly covers advances in manufacturing, information technology, and software. He has written thousands of feature articles, cover stories, and white papers for an assortment of trade journals, business publications, and consumer magazines.

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