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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:


Dassault Aviation

Business Aircraft:


Airbus H160


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.


Safran’s Tier 1 full capabilities

Who does the aerospace Tier 1 supply to?

The Tier 1 company is supplying the OEM (Aircraft Manufacturer). Depending on the complexity of a system, you can see Tier 1 companies 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.


Aerospace Supply Chain

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:

Tier 1 aerospace companies – AeroStructure:

Tier 1 aerospace companies – Avionic:

Tier 1 aerospace companies – Landing Gear:

Tier 1 aerospace companies – Cabin :

Tier 1 aerospace companies – Fuel and fluid management:


Finding an Aerospace job at a Tier 1 company

No matter if you are looking for an engineering, technician or executive position at a Tier 1 or other similar company in the Aerospace or Defense industry, we recommend you the following steps:

  1. To search for the preselected Company’s website and to look for any contact information available in order to send an application. Human ressources contact information are best but they are sometime not available online. You should realize this step to a small number of selected companies.
  2. Another good practice would be to use LinkedIn contact search feature in order to find the right contact within the targeted businesses. To do so, preselect the location filter, enter the name of the targeted company and look for any contacts with the same position that you target or from the human ressources department.
  3. To ask for more information/ help to the contacts that you found in the selected companies. It is always easier to get an answer when you ask for some advises. Try to connect with the targeted contact and to potentially organise a quick phone call in order to ask your questions about the work environment, the position,.. before applying. Your new connections would increase your chances of success with your application.
  4. Apply to the available position potentially referring to your new connection and referencing the information learned during your previous conversations.

AerospaceExport Job Application Service

AerospaceExport Job Application Service is an easy way to send your application to hundreds selected companies (including Boeing, Safran, Airbus, GKN, …) in one simple process.

DOING BUSINESS WITH a Tier 1 company?

Willing to do business with a Tier 1 company and you don’t know how to start? Looking for a person with extensive knowledge in the Company’s activity?

Aerospace Export regroups experts from all location with all type of skills (sales rep, M&A consultant, lawyers, government officials,..). We specialized in supporting the organic and external growth of Aerospace & Defense companies. If you feel that we could be helpful in your projects, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will assist, advise and connect you with our network for FREE.

Trade Shows & Conferences to attend

Trade shows and conferences are the best place to go if you want to grow your business with Aerospace & Defense companies, learn about new technology, find a new job opportunity at,… You have the opportunity to be able to meet with all the industry main actors in one single place.

Feel free to check the listing that we established of the best trade shows & conference to attend in the Aerospace & Defense market.

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