Key Industries


Defense contractors value Delaware's strategic location, strong military presence, skilled workforce and opportunities to leverage the State's excellent universities.



NM Marshall Space Center NASA 2011

Industry Overview

Delaware has much to offer civilian and military contractors looking to establish or expand manufacturing, distribution and consulting operations: its strategic location halfway between New York and Washington; proximity to the Army Research Laboratory and the Aberdeen Proving Ground in nearby Maryland; comprehensive logistics infrastructure; leading research university and the Dover Air Force base all offer considerable benefits.

The U.S. Department of Defense has tapped pioneering research being conducted at the State's universities, recently awarding a Delaware State University professor a grant to fund advanced optics research. The Department also signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the University of Delaware for work at Aberdeen Proving Ground. UD's Center for Composite Materials collaborates with about 210 companies representing materials suppliers and end users in the aerospace, automotive, defense and durable goods industries, and has hosted six National Science Foundation/Department of Defense Centers of Excellence.

Defense and civilian contractors with operations in Delaware include Beechcraft, Dimo and Honeywell, which take advantage of the State's skilled workforce, high quality of life and low cost of living. The State is also the corporate home to the country's largest defense companies, including DynCorp, Textron, Rockwell Collins, URS, Exelis, Honeywell, United Technologies, Raytheon, Northrop Grumann and Boeing.


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DIMO Corp.

ILC Dover

Success Stories

Fran DiNuzzo President at ILC Dover

Fran DiNuzzo ILC Dover

Best-known for its NASA space suits, ILC Dover engineers a wide range of products using high-performance flexible materials for defense, government and civilian customers. ILC continues to leverage its expertise in system design and materials engineering to seek out new markets for its high tech solutions. Read the full story →


Dover Air Force Base

Dover Air Force Base

DAFB is home to the 436th "Eagle Wing" and the Air Force Reserve 512th "Liberty Wing" Airlift Wings. Using C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, the Eagle Wing flies hundreds of missions throughout the world, providing 25 percent of the Nation's strategic airlift capability to more than 100 countries.

Aberdeen Proving Ground

Aberdeen Proving Ground

Just 30 miles from Delaware, APG is the U.S. Army's oldest active proving ground and home to the U.S. Army's Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (C4ISR) complex. It serves as the Defense Department's Center for Excellence for land combat systems, vehicles, soldier systems and chemical and biological defense.

National Defense Industrial Association, Delaware Valley Chapter

National Defense Industrial Association, Delaware Valley Chapter

The 1,300 members of NDIA's Delaware Valley Chapter represent the defense industrial base in the greater Philadelphia region. The chapter supports the programs of the NDIA, provides a means for liaison with local government agencies and personnel and encourages the development of the defense industrial base in the region.

University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials

University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials

The CCM is a 64-member university-industry consortium with annual expenditures of more than $12 million. The Center's mission is to conduct basic and applied research, educate scientists and engineers and develop and transition technology. The CCM has hosted six National Science Foundation/Department of Defense Centers of Excellence since 1986.


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