Aerospace & Defense Insights


Refining the flight path: Seven priorities for commercial aerospace leaders through 2020

– Commercial aerospace companies need to focus on several areas, from the evolving industry structure to the development cost curve, to stay competitive.

Five keys to digitizing aerospace and defense companies

– Most aerospace and defense companies have launched digital transformation efforts. Few of them are working out. Here’s how to get better results.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

Data as jet fuel: An interview with Boeing’s CIO

– It isn’t always comfortable, but data analytics is helping Boeing reach new heights.

Commercial drones are here: The future of unmanned aerial systems

– Investment in unmanned aerial systems is soaring, but challenges remain. Here’s what stakeholders need to know about the evolving landscape.

War and peace: Evolving challenges and strategies in the US military

– Five experts describe the technological, environmental, and other disruptions that are changing the way the US armed forces manage conflicts and pursue peace initiatives.

Featured video

How Airbus is navigating a digital transformation

– The aerospace and defense company is charting a course to software and services, focusing on creating new data-driven models to complement its hardware platforms.

Featured publication


McKinsey on Industrial services: Reimagining how services organizations grow

– A set of paradigm shifts is forcing companies to rethink their approach to services businesses, to promote both growth and operational efficiency.

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Munich Security Report 2018

Munich Security Report 2018: To the Brink — and Back?

– This report offers analyses, data, statistics, infographics, and maps on major developments and challenges in international security.

More European, more connected, more capable: Building the European armed forces of the future

– This report presents five key choices for European leaders to create connected and capable armed forces for the future.



Reform as an imperative: An interview with Vice Admiral Eric Chaplet

– The new head of performance discusses the pace of change in the French military and the differences between management and command.

Defense offsets: From ‘contractual burden’ to competitive weapon

– Western defense companies looking to new markets often view “offsets” as a burden in international sales. Yet there... is value in these industrial compensation arrangements with foreign governments.
Book Excerpt

Fiscal shock, combat awe

– The United States has traditionally cut defense costs in the wrong ways. In this edited extract from a new Aspen Strategy Group... book, McKinsey’s John Dowdy and Diana Farrell explain how the country can preserve its fighting power in the age of austerity.

Enlisting productivity to reinforce European defense

– In an era of fiscal restraint, the defense future of Europe will depend on how well it can bring productivity into the equation.

The US growth opportunity in trading knowledge-intensive products

– Susan Schwab, professor at the University of Maryland and an adviser to the law firm Mayer Brown, examines the role that trade... in knowledge-intensive products such as airplanes and automobiles plays in economic growth and job creation and explores policy changes that can boost exports in these sectors.

Defense outlook 2015: A global survey of defense-industry executives

– Today's leading defense executives offer their insights.

Preserving combat power when defense budgets are falling

– Defense ministries can cope with austerity. Here's how.

How militaries learn and adapt: An interview with Major General H. R. McMaster

– An experienced combat commander and leading expert on training and doctrine assesses recent military history and its implications... for the future.

Managing a downturn: How the US defense industry can learn from its past

– Companies that assertively managed their portfolio thrived in the last budget downturn. The same strategy will work again today,... but companies must be mindful of the new context.

Powering the US military: An interview with the Pentagon's Sharon Burke

– Sharon Burke explains what it's like to create a new office within the world's largest defense organization–and how she plans... to help today's leaders start to see energy as an essential military capability rather than simply an unavoidable cost.

Strategy, scenarios, and the global shift in defense power

– As the strategic landscape shifts, an economic-scenario approach can help defense organizations grapple with uncertainty.

Translating innovation into US growth: An advanced-industries perspective

– The United States faces a future in which the elements of economic leadership are moving abroad. Reversing these trends will require... the private and public sectors to collaborate.

“Flying people, not planes”: The CEO of Bombardier on building a world-class culture

– Pierre Beaudoin explains how a company driven by engineering goals learned to focus on customer expectations, teamwork, and continuous... improvement.
Report - McKinsey Global Institute

Growth and renewal in the United States: Retooling America’s economic engine

– To match the GDP growth rates of the past 20 years, the United States needs a 34 percent acceleration in productivity growth to... a rate not achieved since the 1960s.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

The growing role of emerging markets in aerospace

– Manufacturers in developing markets are already helping aircraft makers in developed ones to cut costs. That's just the beginning.
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