Aerospace & Defense

china-lakeImage: China Lake, CA Embry-Riddle Worldwide

Eastern Kern County is home to some of the most innovative and specialized technologies in the world. The region’s aerospace programs stand at the forefront of an industry gaining international recognition for space tourism and the first-ever privately-funded spaceflight, while the area’s defense and advanced weapons development are fostered by two military installations.

California is home to approximately 139,000 aerospace jobs, with over 20,000 of them in Kern County. These high-wage full-time jobs have staying power thanks to vast open land, lack of development encroachment, proximity to Los Angeles, and higher education levels per capita in East Kern than in most other regions in the country.

Click here: Learn More About Kern County’s Aerospace & Defense Industry in the Market Overview

Business of Nationwide Importance in Kern’s Backyard

Two military installations are based in eastern Kern County: the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake and Edwards Air Force Base.

China Lake

China Lake is the Navy’s largest single landholding in the world. It represents 85% of the Navy’s land for research, development, tests, and evaluations use, and 40% of the Navy’s land holdings worldwide. As weapons development continues, China Lake consistently adds jobs, both military and civilian.


Edwards Air Force Base

Edwards Air Force Base covers roughly 470 square miles and houses roughly 12,800 jobs at the Air Force Flight Test Center. Among its many military purposes, Edwards historically provided a landing-place for NASA spaceships coming back from space exploration when weather did not permit landings in Florida.


Companies in Kern County’s Aerospace Industry

  • ASB Avionics
  • BAE Systems
  • Fiberset
  • Firestar Technologies
  • Flight Research, Inc.
  • Flight Test Associates
  • Masten Space
  • Mojave Air and Space Port
  • National Test Pilot School
  • Orbital Sciences Corp.
  • Rocket Propulsion Engineering Corp.
  • Scaled Composites
  • Stratolaunch
  • The Spaceship Company
  • Trans Lunar Research
  • Virgin Galactic
  • XCOR Aerospace