The top 10 largest defense contractors in the world are contributing to the growth of the global defense industry as military spending soars. The global defense industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of about 3 percent over the by 2023 period to reach USD 2.1 trillion by 2023. The defense sector has sustained its growth in 2019 as security threats have intensified, requiring governments worldwide to continue increasing their defense budgets. This is a list of the 10 biggest defense contractors that are contributing the most to this growth ranked by arms sales (revenue figures) in the defense sector. Defense expenditure is expected to grow between 3 and 4 percent in 2020 to reach an estimated USD 1.9 trillion, as governments worldwide continue to modernize and recapitalize their militaries. The largest defense contractor in the world by revenue from the defense industry is Lockheed Martin. The top 3 military contractor companies are then rounded out by Boeing and Raytheon Technologies. This article will provide insight into the global defense industry, including:
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This is a complete list of the top 10 largest defense contractors in the world ranked by revenues generated from the defense sector.
Defense Revenue (USD billions)
|1||Lockheed Martin||44.9||Bethesda, Maryland, USA|
|2||Boeing||26.9||Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|3||Raytheon Technologies||23.8||Waltham, Massachusetts, USA|
|4||BAE Systems||22.9||London & Farnborough, UK|
|5||Northrop Grumman||22.3||Falls Church, Virginia, USA|
|6||General Dynamics||19.4||Reston, Virginia, USA|
|7||L3Harris Technologies||11.9||Melbourne, Florida, USA|
|8||Union Airbus||11.2||Leiden, Netherlands|
|9||Thales Group||9||Paris, France|
Who is the largest defense contractor in the world? Lockheed Martin is the largest defense contractor in the world by revenues generated in the defense sector, reaching USD 44.9 billion in total revenue from arms sales. Lockheed Martin Corporation is an American aerospace, defense, arms, security, and advanced technologies company with worldwide interests. As the world’s United States’ largest military contractor, 88% of Lockheed Martin’s revenues come from the defense sector. Lockheed Martin operates in four business segments: Aeronautics, Missiles and Fire Control (MFC), Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS), and Space. Lockheed Martin also invests in healthcare systems, renewable energy systems, intelligent energy distribution, and compact nuclear fusion. Founded in 1995, Lockheed Martin currently has over 110,000 employees. Lockheed Martin’s areas of expertise are in Aeronautics, Global Security, Space Systems, Defense, Advanced Technology, Cyber Security, Innovation, Rotary Wing, Aerospace, Energy, Space Exploration, Military Research, Maritime Systems, Aviation, Commercial Aircraft, Autonomous Systems, C4ISR, STEM, Engineering, and Artificial intelligence.
Ranking number 2 on our list of the top 10 largest defense contractors in the world in 2020 is Boeing. Boeing is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets, satellites, telecommunications equipment, and missiles worldwide. Boeing is the largest exporter in the United States by dollar value. By arm sales revenue, Boeing is the second-largest defense contractor in the world after Lockheed Martin. Boeing Integrated Defense Systems was formed in 2002 by combining the “Military Aircraft and Missile Systems” and “Space and Communications” divisions. Last year Boeing generated USD 26.9 billion in revenues from the defense sector — making it one of the top defense contractors in the world.
Ranking 3rd on this list of biggest defense contractors in the world in 2020 is Raytheon Technologies. Raytheon Technologies is an American multinational conglomerate headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. Raytheon Technologies researches, develops, and manufactures advanced technology products in the aerospace and defense industry, including aircraft engines, avionics, aerostructures, cybersecurity, missiles, air defense systems, and drones. Raytheon Technologies formed as the result of the merger of equals between the aerospace subsidiaries of United Technologies Corporation (UTC) and the Raytheon Company, which was completed on April 3, 2020. Raytheon Technologies has four subsidiaries: Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space, and Raytheon Missiles & Defense. Last year Raytheon Technologies generated USD 23.8 billion in revenues from the defense sector — making it one of the largest military contractors in the world in 2020.
Ranking 4th on this list of the largest defense contractors in the world is BAE Systems. BAE Systems is a British multinational defense, security, and aerospace company. Headquartered in London and Farnborough, BAE Systems is the largest defense contractor in Europe. BAE Systems provides electronic systems and subsystems for military and commercial applications; security and protection products for law enforcement and first responders; and armored combat vehicles, artillery systems, and intelligent munitions, as well as support and service solutions for defense, intelligent, and civilian systems. Last year BAE Systems generated USD 22.9 billion from the defense sector — making it one of the largest aerospace and defense contractors in the world. BAE Systems areas of expertise are in Combat Systems, Aeronautics Products, Land and Armaments, Ship Repair, Avionics and Navigation, Information Technology, Reconnaissance and Surveillance, Space Electronics, Transformational Communications, Cyber and Intelligence, Aircraft manufacture, and Engineering.
Northrop Grumman ranks 5th on this list of the top 10 largest defense contractors in the world in 2020 with annual arms sales of USD 22.4 billion. Northrop Grumman is one of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers and military technology providers. Northrop Grumman currently leads the development of the B-21 Raider, a long-range, stealth strategic bomber that can drop conventional and nuclear weapons; it will replace Northrop’s own B-2 Spirit, the world’s only known stealth bomber. Northrop Grumman areas of expertise are in engineering, information technology, electronics, military, systems engineering, software engineering, contracts, supply chain, manufacturing, logistics, aerospace, defense, unmanned systems, c4isr, cyber, cybersecurity, advanced electronics, directed energy, and space.
General Dynamics ranks 6th on this list of the top 10 largest defense contractors in the world in 2020. General Dynamics Corporation (GD) is an American aerospace and defense corporation. Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, General Dynamics is led by Phebe Novakovic. The company employs over 100,000 people in 43 countries around the world. General Dynamics generated USD 19.5 billion from the defense sector — making it one of the biggest defense contractors in the world in 2020. General Dynamics areas of expertise are in aerospace, defense, information systems, marine systems, business aviation, shipbuilding, submarines, and armored vehicles.
Ranking 7th on our list of the largest military contractors in the world is L3Harris Technologies. L3Harris Technologies is an American technology company, defense contractor, and information technology services provider that produces C6ISR systems and products, wireless equipment, tactical radios, avionics, and electronic systems, night vision equipment, and both terrestrial and spaceborne antennas for use in the government, defense, and commercial sectors. Last year L3Harris Technologies generated USD 11.9 billion from the defense sector — making it one of the largest defense contractors in the world. L3Harris Technologies areas of expertise are in surveillance solutions, microwave weaponry, and electronic warfare.
Airbus ranks 8th on this list of the largest military contractor companies. Airbus is a European multinational aerospace corporation. Airbus has three divisions: Commercial Aircraft (Airbus S.A.S.), Defence and Space, and Helicopters, the third being the largest in its industry in terms of revenues and turbine helicopter deliveries. The division Airbus Defence and Space develops and manufactures sensors, radars, avionics, and electronic warfare systems for military and security applications; Cassidian Air Systems develops manned and unmanned aerial systems (UAVs), mission avionics, electronic defense, and warning systems; Cassidian Systems provides global security systems such as command & control, lead system integration, TETRA and TETRAPOL communication systems for public safety, industry, transportation, and defense. Last year Airbus generated USD 11.2 billion from the defense sector. Airbus areas of expertise are in Aerospace, Defence, Space, Innovation, Cyber Security, IT, and Engineering.
Thales Group ranks 9th on this list of the top 10 largest defense contractors in the world in 2020. Thales Group is a French multinational company that designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defense, transportation, and security markets. Thales has a unique capability to design, develop, and deploy equipment, systems, and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers and local partners. Last year Thales Group generated USD 9 billion from the defense sector — making it one of the biggest defense contractors in the world. Thales Group areas of expertise are in Aerospace, Defense, Security, Space, Transportation, Cybersecurity, Big Data, IoT, Connectivity, Artificial Intelligence, Digital, Systems, and Software.
Rounding out BizVibe’s list of the top 10 largest defense contractors in the world is Leonardo S.p.A. Leonardo S.p.A. is an Italian multinational company specializing in aerospace, defense, and security. Leonardo is a global high-tech company specializing in aerospace, security, and defense. The company offers a wide range of defense and security solutions to Governments, Institutions, and citizens that includes every possible intervention scenario: aerial and terrestrial, naval and maritime, space, and cyberspace. Leonardo operates globally, with over 45,000 employees at 180 sites worldwide. the company has its strongest industrial presence in four domestic markets: Italy, the UK, the USA, and Poland. Last year Leonardo S.p.A. generated USD 8.8 billion from the defense sector — making it one of the biggest defense contractors in the world. Leonardo S.p.A. areas of expertise are in Aircraft, Aerostructures, Airborne and Space Systems, Defence Systems, Helicopters, Land and Naval Defence Electronics, and Security and Information Systems.
This is BizVibe’s list of the top 10 largest defense contractors in the world based on revenues generated from the defense sector. These companies are directly contributing to stellar growth in the global defense sector as military expenses continue to rise.
This is the complete list of the biggest defense contractors in the world based on revenues generated from the defense sector. The numbers are in USD billions.
Defense Revenue (USD billions)
% of Total Revenue From Defense Sector
|14||United Shipbuilding Corporation||4.9||89%|
|21||Booz Allen Hamilton||4||70%|
|23||Tactical Missiles Corporation||3.5||99%|
|24||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries||3.5||10%|
|27||Babcock International Group||3.2||47%|
|33||High Precision Systems||2.8||97%|
|34||Science Applications International Corporation||2.7||62%|
|36||Indian Ordnance Factories||2.6||96%|
|39||United Engine Corporation||2.5||64%|
|48||Dassault Aviation Groupe||2.1||39%|
Looking past 2020, military expenditure is expected to continue growing worldwide and in major markets, leading to promising results going forward for the largest defense contractors in the world. Technology is also expected to continue disrupting the market for the better as AI will lead to better decision making and data will continue to play a large part.