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Aerospace & Defense

North Alabama's Aerospace and Defense Industry - A Premier Center for Aerospace Excellence

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North Alabama played a central role for the 20th Century’s greatest accomplishment – putting man on the moon.  The Saturn V rocket that launched astronauts from zero to outer space in less than three minutes was designed, built, managed and tested at Marshall Space Flight Center in North Alabama.  It was the most critical component to the success of the awe inspiring mission and it operated without failure.  Today, this Saturn V rocket, restored to its Apollo era readiness, resides in the Davidson Center at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Museum in Huntsville as a reminder of the heritage that launched North Alabama into its present economic success.  Rockets are still produced here at a state-of-the-art 1.5 million sq. ft. United Launch Alliance facility in

Decatur.   In addition to rocket production, there are more than 300 national and international aerospace and defense contractors located in North Alabama.


The 38,000 acre secure U.S. Army Complex, Redstone Arsenal, remains an important part of the economy in North Alabama.  More than 32,000 people are employed managing more than $30 billion in annual federal budget.


Redstone is home to:

Þ U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command

Þ U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center

Þ Program Executive Office—Missiles and Space

Þ Program Executive Office—Aviation

Þ Redstone Technical Test Center

Þ U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command

Þ Defense Intelligence Agency—Missile and Space Intelligence Center

Þ Headquarters for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

Þ Missile Defense Agency

Þ Marshall Space Flight Center


As part of the 2005 BRAC recommendations, seven new commands are in the process of relocating to Redstone Arsenal.

Þ 2nd Recruiting Brigade

Þ Army Materiel Command

Þ Aviation Technical Test Center

Þ Missile Defense Agency

Þ Rotary Wing Air Platform

Þ Security Assistance Command

Þ Space and Missile Defense Command


The University of Alabama in Huntsville and Alabama A & M have strong research partnerships with NASA and the U.S. Army.  Dr. Michael Griffin, former NASA Administrator, is now an Eminent Scholar and Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.  According to the U.S. Census, the Huntsville area has the highest per capita concentration of engineers and technology workers in the country.

March, 2010


Aerospace, Aviation and Defense Existing Industries
North Alabama Aerospace and Defense Industry
Aerospace Industry in Alabama
Alabama Aerospace Industry Economic Impact Survey
Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Additions for Redstone Arsenal




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