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2017 AeroDef Manufacturing Event: What’s Influencing Aerospace and Defense?

Conference and exhibition returns to Fort Worth in March 2017

(FORT WORTH, Texas, Dec. 7, 2016) – SME’s AeroDef Manufacturing event will bring together the leading companies and executives from aerospace and defense manufacturing to explore current technologies and coming trends March 6 to 9 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. This annual technical conference and exhibition offers not only an up-close look at solutions for aerospace and defense, but also provides compelling keynote addresses and unique content synonymous with and available only at AeroDef.

Advanced Manufacturing and Global Defense

Fred Ross, vice president and deputy general manager, F-35 Lightning II Program, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., will discuss the F-35 program’s role as the centerpiece for global security for the U.S. and its allies for the greater part of the 21st century in the March 8 keynote. The F-35 program is now beginning its climb to production; the next 5 years will see production accelerated to a 16 aircraft per month rate. 

China’s Aerospace Strategy and Its Implications for Western Aerospace 

Also on March 8, Paul Marks, chairman and CEO, Argosy International Inc., will cover China’s aerospace goals and objectives and Chinese strategy and tactics for achieving these goals. Marks will provide a status report on China’s current commercial aerospace manufacturing capabilities and will explain both the threats and opportunities for Western aerospace manufacturers in the Chinese market.

“China’s rise as an industrial powerhouse in multiple fields, including aerospace, is both an opportunity and possible risk to U.S. manufacturers,” said Marks. “AeroDef offers the perfect forum to discuss how we can turn those challenges into opportunities for American aerospace companies.”

Additional Features

AeroDef Manufacturing also features multiple panel discussions, workshops, facility tours, networking receptions and over 80 technical sessions. To learn more, visit View the event schedule and see the list of exhibitors. Get involved in the conversation before the event by following @AeroDefMfg on Twitter or joining the discussions on LinkedIn.

 About AeroDef Manufacturing

AeroDef Manufacturing is a leading technical conference and exposition for the aerospace and defense manufacturing industry. Produced by SME, in partnership with industry OEMs, its mission is to foster innovation across the extended enterprise to reduce costs, expedite production times and maintain U.S. competitiveness in the global economy. Learn more at 

About SME

SME connects all those who are passionate about making things that improve our world. As a nonprofit organization, SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education Foundation, SME is uniquely dedicated to the advancement of manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skills needed for the industry. Learn more at, follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or