Top 10 Largest Defense Contractors in the World 2020, Top Defense Contractors, Global Defense Industry Factsheet - Bizvibe
largest defense contractors in the world

Global Defense Industry Outlook

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:

  • What are the largest defense contractors in the world by defense revenue?
  • What is the percentage of revenue coming from the defense sector for the biggest defense contractors?
  • How much is the global defense industry worth?
  • What are defense industry stats and trends you should know in 2020?

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Defense Industry Stats and Trends

  • Defense expenditure is expected to grow between 3 and 4 percent in 2020 to reach an estimated US$1.9 trillion
  • US foreign military sales (FMS) rose 33 percent to reach USD 55.7 billion, and in the first nine months of 2019 achieved USD 44.2 billion, with a likelihood of reaching the 2018 total.
  • In Asia, higher defense spending by major regional powers such as India, China, and Japan will likely contribute to global sector growth.
  • In Europe, members of NATO are also increasing defense budgets to reach a defense spending target of 2 percent of GDP.
  • The USA is the largest defense spender in the world, spending USD 732 billion on defense last year.
  • The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence is changing the battle landscape.

Top 10 Largest Defense Contractors in the World 2020

This is a complete list of the top 10 largest defense contractors in the world ranked by revenues generated from the defense sector.

Rank

Defense Contractors

Defense Revenue (USD billions)

Headquarters

1Lockheed Martin44.9Bethesda, Maryland, USA
2Boeing26.9Chicago, Illinois, USA
3Raytheon Technologies23.8Waltham, Massachusetts, USA
4BAE Systems22.9London & Farnborough, UK
5Northrop Grumman22.3Falls Church, Virginia, USA 
6General Dynamics19.4Reston, Virginia, USA
7L3Harris Technologies11.9Melbourne, Florida, USA
8Union Airbus11.2Leiden, Netherlands
9Thales Group9Paris, France
10Leonardo8.8Rome, Italy
Largest Defense Contractors in the World by Revenue

1.    Lockheed Martin

 

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.

 

  • Founded: 1995
  • Headquarters: Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  • Lockheed Martin Defense Revenue: USD 44.9 billion
  • Lockheed Martin Total Sales: USD 51.0 billion
  • Lockheed Martin Profit: USD 2.0 billion
  • Lockheed Martin Number of Employees: 110,000


 

2.    Boeing

 

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.

 

  • Founded: 1916
  • Boeing Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Boeing Defense Revenue: USD 26.9 billion
  • Boeing Total Sales: USD 76.56 billion
  • Boeing Profit: USD 8.2 billion
  • Boeing Number of Employees: 161,133

 

3.    Raytheon Technologies

 

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.

 

  • Founded: 2020
  • Raytheon Headquarters: Waltham, Massachusetts, USA
  • Raytheon Defense Revenue: USD 23.8 billion
  • Raytheon Total Sales: USD 97.75 billion
  • Raytheon Number of Employees: 195,000

 

 

4.    BAE Systems

 

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.

 

  • Founded: 1999
  • BAE Systems Headquarters: London & Farnborough, UK
  • BAE Systems Defense Revenue: USD 22.9 billion
  • BAE Systems Total Sales: USD 23.5 billion
  • BAE Systems Profit: USD 1.1 billion
  • BAE Systems Number of Employees: 85,800

 

 

5.    Northrop Grumman

 

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.

 

  • Founded: 1994
  • Northrop Grumman Headquarters: Falls Church, Virginia, USA
  • Northrop Grumman Defense Revenue: USD 22.4 billion
  • Northrop Grumman Total Sales: USD 30.1 billion
  • Northrop Grumman Profit: USD 2 billion
  • Northrop Grumman Number of Employees: 90,000

 

 

6.    General Dynamics

 

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.

 

  • Founded: 1899
  • General Dynamics Headquarters: Reston, Virginia, USA
  • General Dynamics Defense Revenue: USD 19.5 billion
  • General Dynamics Total Sales: USD 36.19 billion
  • General Dynamics Profit: USD 2.9 billion
  • General Dynamics Number of Employees: 107,000

 

 

7.    L3Harris Technologies

 

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.

 

  • Founded: 1899
  • L3Harris Technologies Headquarters: Melbourne, Florida, USA
  • L3Harris Technologies Defense Revenue: USD 11.9 billion
  • L3Harris Technologies Total Sales: USD 17 billion
  • L3Harris Technologies Number of Employees: 50,000

 

 

8.    Airbus

 

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.

 

  • Founded: 1970
  • Airbus Headquarters: Leiden, Netherlands
  • Airbus Defense Revenue: USD 11.2 billion
  • Airbus Total Sales: USD 82.58 billion
  • Airbus Profit: USD 3.3 billion
  • Airbus Number of Employees: 133,671

 

 

9.    Thales Group

 

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.

 

  • Founded: 2000
  • Thales Group Headquarters: Paris, France
  • Thales Group Defense Revenue: USD 9 billion
  • Thales Group Total Sales: USD 21.54 billion
  • Thales Group Profit: USD 931.1 million
  • Thales Group Number of Employees: 80,000

 

 

10.  Leonardo S.p.A.

 

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.

 

 

  • Founded: 1948
  • Leonardo Headquarters: Rome, Italy
  • Leonardo Defense Revenue: USD 8.8 billion
  • Leonardo Total Sales: USD 13 billion
  • Leonardo Profit: USD 310.3 million
  • Leonardo Number of Employees: 46,462

 

 

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.

 

Reach out to the biggest defense contractors on BizVibe

Largest Defense Contractors in the World by Defense Sector Revenue

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.

Rank

Defense Contractors

Defense Revenue (USD billions)

% of Total Revenue From Defense Sector

1Lockheed Martin44.988%
2Boeing26.929%
3Raytheon Technologies23.894%
4BAE Systems22.998%
5Northrop Grumman22.387%
6General Dynamics19.463%
7L3Harris Technologies11.976%
8Union Airbus11.215%
9Thales Group951%
10Leonardo8.868%
11Almaz-Antey8.594%
12Huntington Ingalls6.874%
13Aircraft Corporation6.483%
14United Shipbuilding Corporation4.989%
15Honeywell4.611%
16Perspecta Inc.4.580%
17Rolls-Royce4.423%
18Leidos4.343%
19Naval Group4.199%
20Textron4.129%
21Booz Allen Hamilton470%
22General Electric3.83%
23Tactical Missiles Corporation3.599%
24Mitsubishi Heavy Industries3.510%
25Rheinmetall3.451%
26MBDA3.397%
27Babcock International Group3.247%
28Elbit Systems3.295%
29Russian Helicopters3.181%
30Bechtel3.112%
31CACI International2.967%
32Safran2.915%
33High Precision Systems2.897%
34Science Applications International Corporation2.762%
35Saab2.684%
36Indian Ordnance Factories2.696%
37Hindustan Aeronautics2.694%
38CSRA2.548%
39United Engine Corporation2.564%
40Aerospace Industries2.470%
41Orbital ATK2.350%
42General Atomics2.2NA
43Rafael2.298%
44CEA2.139%
45Electronics2.157%
46Heavy Industries2.115%
47Hanwha Techwin2.157%
48Dassault Aviation Groupe2.139%
49Vecturus1.850%
  • Lockheed Martin is the largest defense contractor in the world generating USD 44.9 billion for the defense sector.
  • Naval Group and Tactical Missiles Corporation have the highest percentage of total revenues coming from the defense sector with over 99% of revenues generated in the defense sector.

The Future for the Global Defense Industry

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.

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