Spain - Country Commercial Guide
Aerospace and Defense
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Table: Total Market Size Aerospace and Defense

 USD (Millions)









Total Market Size





Local Production















Average Exchange Rate:

 Euro 1.00: USD 1.00





USD millions. Total market size = (total local production + imports - exports)


Data Sources: Unofficial estimates based on information from sector sources, including TEDAE (Spanish Association for Defense, Aeronautics and Space), Spanish Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce.

Import figures include aeronautics only.  Data for 2021 available in late September 2022.

Note: Statistics vary in line with exchange rate fluctuation.

Spain has a highly advanced aerospace industry that offers excellent opportunities for U.S. companies.  Sales reached an estimated USD 13 billion in 2020 with official data for 2021 to be announced in September 2022. The sector employs more than 47,693 workers. Characterized by rapid growth in recent years and significant investment in R&D, the industry had grown 10.5 percent in aeronautics and 11 percent in defense, until 2019-2020 when COVID-19 severely hit the sector. Over the past ten years, Spanish companies have consistently dedicated more than 11 percent of their turnover to R&D activities. Sales volume in 2020 decreased by approximately 14 percent in dollar terms compared to the previous year.

Spain’s aerospace industry is currently ranked 5th in Europe in terms of turnover and 8th in the world. Activity is concentrated in: 

  • Madrid (49.4 percent of total sales)
  • Andalusia (21.7 percent)
  • Castilla La Mancha (12 percent)
  • Basque Country (9.9 percent)
  • Catalonia (1.4 percent)

Source: ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones (Spanish Trade & Investment Institute)

Spain actively participates in European aeronautic initiatives. Over the last decade, Spain’s participation in civil aviation and military aircraft programs caused its workforce to increase by 65 percent since 2000, though it has lost over 17 percent of that amount in the last two years because of COVID-19.

The Spanish space industry is involved in contracts in the areas of qualification of flight and ground equipment and the development and operation of satellite systems. There are several space centers located in Spain including the European Space Astronomy Center, the Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex (NASA), and Boeing’s European Center for Research and Technology.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Key Areas of Activity for Spanish Aerospace Companies:

Aeronautics Sales by Segment

Table: Aeronautics Sales by Segment

Aerostructures and systems

79 percent


11 percent


10 percent

Total: USD 10 billion


 Space Sales by Segment

Table: Space Sales by Segment

Flight segment

43 percent


33 percent

Ground segment

18 percent

Launch equipment

 6 percent

Total: USD 961 million


Source:  TEDAE

Spanish aeronautics covers the entire value chain of an aircraft. Established aeronautics companies in Spain stand out in several fields, including military transport and special mission aircraft, low pressure turbines, maintenance, repair and operation activities, air-refueling aircraft, and air traffic management. Spain also has a highly specialized industry in aero-engines and propulsion engineering technology, with experience in advanced manufacturing processes.

Recently, there has been increasing interest in products related to composite tape-laying machines and fiber placement systems with computerized numerical control. Other products in demand include components for aeronautical software programming, avionics, ground support equipment, unmanned air vehicles and systems, and extruded metal products and plastics.  

According to the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, aeronautics imports from the United States have grown steadily since 2010.  Due to the global pandemic, it is estimated that U.S. civilian aircraft, equipment, parts, and engines imports for commercial airlines will decrease in 2021/22.  Nevertheless, the private jets sector is estimated to increase enormously, according to Spanish sources.

U.S. aeronautics products and services are well regarded in terms of price and quality. The best prospects for U.S. firms in this market continue to be those associated with the manufacturing of new aircraft or engine models, or in highly technical products such as composites.

The Spanish space sector has seen a change of priorities from those traditionally linked to launches and scientific developments. The current emphasis is on satellite use that meets the needs of telecommunications, as well as institutional, governmental, and civilian use. TEDAE (Spain’s Association of Defense, Aeronautical and Space Technologies) estimates that total sales in the Spanish space sector in 2021-2022 will again exceed USD 1 billion. 


Spain’s aerospace sector continues to grow and shows great potential due to increased competition in the Spanish air transport market and demand for new technology. Spain’s emphasis on the development of new airport infrastructures should further contribute to this trend. 

To increase NATO spending, the Ministry of Defense has succeeded in securing a dramatically increased budget plan for the coming years. The Spanish Minister of Defense committed to increase military spending to 1.53 percent of GDP by 2024, and President Sanchez, upon the conclusion of the NATO Summit (June 29-30, 2022), pledged that Spain would reach two percent by 2029.  This amounts to an increase of 10 billion euros (USD 11.8 billion) per year. The Minister also pledged to invest 10.8 billion euros (USD 12.8 billion) to cover the “most necessary and urgent needs” of the Armed Forces. CS Spain remains ready to assist U.S. firms with their expansion into Spanish markets. 

In March 2022, the Spanish government identified the aerospace sector as a strategic project for economic recovery and transformation (PERTE) and plans to mobilize 4.5 billion euros to the sector by 2025, including 2.3 billion euros from the private sector.  Spain plans to strengthen its position in the space industry and to create its own Spanish Space Agency in 2023.

Market opportunities are expected to remain noteworthy due to the need to replace less fuel-efficient aircraft with eco-friendly jets as well as the growth in domestic and international air travel demand. Demand exists for environmentally friendly aircraft using innovative technology in the area of power and fuel management, “smart wings,” cockpit advances, and independent energy sources for equipment. 

While Spanish aerospace companies do seek outside suppliers, becoming a supplier can require patience, financial effort, an innovative approach, and competitive pricing. A direct presence in Spain strongly supports this approach. The best entry strategy is to enter into a partnership with an existing local company.  

Spain has a presence at several important aerospace trade events including:

FEINDEF: The first ever Spanish defense trade show took place on May 29-31, 2019, to great attendance and fanfare. The second edition took place in Madrid from November 3-5, 2021.  The U.S. Embassy in Spain is actively supporting the 2023 event as the United States has been designated as one of the most important markets. The number of exhibitors is expected to grow from the original 150 companies (2019) to almost 400 in May 2023.

The aerospace and defense meeting (A&DM) in Seville is also a very important business to business (B2B) event in Spain for the aerospace sector. The last edition was held June 7-9, 2022 and included conferences and workshops covering topics such as OEM procurement and supply chain policies. It is designed specifically to help large and small firms involved in global aviation explore the aerospace market and discover business opportunities with civil and defense applications. The next edition will take place in June 2023.


Spanish Association for Defense, Aeronautics and Space: TEDAE 

Spanish Ministry of Defense:

U.S. Commercial Service Spain

Aerospace & Defense Specialist: Carlos Perezminguez

Tel: +34 91 308 1598