In the aerospace supply chain, companies have their own ranking depending on who do they supply to. In this article we are going to see how to define such companies focusing of the role of the Tier 1 companies and finishing by listing the most important ones.

What is a tier 1 company

A Tier 1 company is a company that directly supply to the OEM (Aircraft manufacturer). The Tier 1 company is in charge of the design, manufacture and integration of a complete system or subsystem for the OEM. The main aerospace systems are generally the engines, landing gears, avionic, fuel management, cabin systems, aerostructures, power systems,… For each commodity, you will have few Tier 1 that are sharing the market.

Which OEM the tier 1 supply to?

In the Aerospace Industry, there are several OEM depending of the aircraft category but here are the main ones:

Airbus’s A350 XWB – Commercial Aircraft

Commercial Aircraft: Airbus, Boeing, Comac, Irkut, Embraher, Bombardier, ATR

Dassault Aviation’s 2000L – Business Aircraft

Business Aircraft: Bombardier, Textron,…

Helicopter: Textron, Airbus, LMCO, MD Helicopter,…

How the Tier 1 work with the OEM?

Taking the example of Boeing commercial aircrafts, Boeing’s Tier 1 are quickly involved in the design of a new aircrafts. They bring a system expertise which is key for the OEM. The first Tier 1 to be involve in all new aircraft design is the engine maker. Defining the engine requirement,  expected properties and the defining the overall aerodynamic property of the new aircraft are one of the first step that an OEM do. Other Tier 1 companies are then involved step by step by the OEM along the design phase. Traditionally the OEM consult all the recognized Tier 1 for each specific systems to challenge them for competitive innovative solutions.

Illustration of Safran’s various systems supplied to OEM

Who does the aerospace Tier 1 supply to?

Depending if the complexity of a system, you can see Tier 1 outsourcing the design of a subsystem to another company or directly dealing with the system manufacturer (Tier 2). Tier 2 are usually responsible for the assembly of the system. Tier 3 would then be typically the individual component designer and manufacturer that supply to the Tier 2.

Main list of Aerospace Tier 1 ranked by commodity:

This list is not exhaustive as many company below have multitude business units with activity in several different commodity. This list is then an overview of the main Tier 1 in each commodities.

Tier 1 aerospace companies – Engine maker:

GE aviation

Collins Aerospace (Pratt and Whitney)



Rolce Royce

Tier 1 aerospace companies – AeroStructure:

Spirit AeroSystems



Mitsubishi (MH)

Tier 1 aerospace companies – Avionic:




BAE System

Collins Aerospace

Crane Aerospace




L3 Communication

Teledyne Technologies

Tier 1 aerospace companies – Landing Gear:

Heroux Devtek

Collins Aerospace


Tier 1 aerospace companies – Cabin :


Collins Aerospace


Tier 1 aerospace companies – Fuel and fluid management:

Parker Aerospace