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Top Defense Contractors in Southern Arizona Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities has identified more than 60 top defense contractors in Southern Arizona – providing everything from circuit design, optical engineering, lighting technology and thermal control to manufacturing, maintenance and medical transport. Here is a sampling: Advanced Ceramics Manufacturing Manufactures ceramic components for military, aerospace and industrial applications AGM Container Controls Design and fabrication of products that control and monitor moisture, pressure and vacuum changes, and shock and vibration Applied Energetics Man-made lightning technology for military and security applications Cybernetic Research Laboratories Contract manufacturing Hextek Corp. Large lightweight glass substrates and mirrors for use in groundbased airborne and space-borne optical systems Infinite Space Systems Materials and processes for the design, manufacture and sale of specialized polymer resins and coatings, including specialized insulation formulations and structures for use in a myriad of consumer and earth/space-based research and defense applications Infrared Laboratories Design and build advanced cryostats and low-temperature bolometers R.E. Darling Company Development and production of precision molded rubber goods; hoses and related products that resist chemical warfare; hardware items for space, military and medical programs; fabrication of undersea products, and reinforced composite and ablative components Secureplane Technologies Supplier of video camera and security systems, radios and collisionavoidance systems for aircraft ground operations ZYGO Electro-Optics Group Manufacturing Center Manufactures high-performance, laser-based, non-contact electrooptical measuring instruments, systems and accessories Source: Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities
space. If Arizona wins the contract, it will be a huge financial boon to local defense contractors providing the ancillary services necessary to manufacture, fly and monitor unmanned aircraft. “One of the key factors is our relationship with Air Force and Army posts,” Goldberg said. Competition for the contract is fierce – 34 states submitted proposals. The ACA hopes to learn by the end of the year if Arizona made the short list. Several local businesses are deeply invested in the unmanned aircraft market. Chris Peterson is the director of inside sales at Sargent Aerospace & Defense – a global supplier of precision-engineered customized components, as well as flight-critical aftermarket aviation services. “As a defense contractor, Sargent has taken an active role in the development of unmanned air vehicles,” he said. Sargent worked on both the RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV and the X-47B UCAV developmental aircraft. The company is currently evaluating and pursuing opportunities in the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program. Arizona has many things going for it when it comes to securing future federal defense contracts. First, Arizona is home to several military installations and has a long history with the defense department. In addition, Arizona’s climate allows for year-round training, as well as equipment testing under harsh desert conditions. If current trends continue, according to the ACA report issued in 2011, Arizona is on track to create between 3,000 and 6,000 new jobs by 2015. And, if Arizona locks in the contract with the FAA for UAS testing, truly the sky is the limit for Arizona’s economic future.
By the Numbers $10.8 billion – defense contracts to Arizona annually $5 billion – defense contracts to Tucson annually $300 million – state & local tax revenues from defense/aerospace industry 90,000 – number of military, civilian and ancillary jobs Source: Arizona Commerce Authority
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