Top 10 US Defense Contractors

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U.S. spending on national defense is tightening, but it is still a vast sum. Depending on what is counted, the grand total including items for retirement benefits, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Defense Department’s share of interest on the national debt rises to $967.9 billion, according to the Center for Defense Information. The 2015 budget request totals $1.010 trillion.

While some analysts believe that 2014 was the bottom of the defense market, there are others who think that 2015 will be the bottom in terms of authorized budgets and 2016 will be the bottom in actual spending.

The top 10 defense contractors received $201.82 billion in 2014, according to a report from Defense News. Of the base 2014 budget total of $496.1 billion, the top 10 accounted for about 41%. The full list of the top 100 defense contractors is available at Defense News.

Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) received $40.13 billion in defense revenues in 2014, some 88% of the company’s total revenues. The total represents a 09% decline from 2013 defense revenues. Lockheed received $7.54 billion to advance its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the most expensive and closely watched of all defense programs. The company has joined with Boeing to bid on a new training jet.

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) hauled in $29 billion in defense revenues in 2014, some 32% of its total revenues. The company suffered a more serious year-over-year decline in defense projects than did Lockheed, with revenues from defense falling 9.4% from 2013 levels. Boeing’s largest defense program is the new KC-46A tanker for which it received $1.5 billion in 2014.

BAE Systems Inc. is a U.K.-based contractor that garnered $25.45 billion in 2014 defense revenues. The total represents 92.8% of the U.S. company’s total revenues. BAE specializes in electronic systems, cybersecurity and armored systems among other things.

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Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN) received $22.23 billion in defense revenues in 2014, more than 97% of the company’s total revenues for the year. Raytheon was one of only two companies to post a year-over-year increase in defense revenues even though it was a relatively modest 0.8%. The company is America’s largest missile builder.

General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD) took in $18.56 billion in defense revenues in 2014, down 1.5% from its total in 2013. The company’s defense revenues accounted for just over 60% of its total during the year. In addition to developing information systems, General Dynamics is a prime contractor on the SSN 774 Class nuclear submarine which contributed about a third of the company’s 2014 defense revenues and for the Aegis destroyer.

Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) received $18.4 billion in defense revenues in 2014. The amount was 5.6% less than the company’s 2013 defense revenues and represented 76.7% of total 2014 corporate revenues. The company has developed some systems that are included in the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.

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Airbus Group is the Netherlands-based European rival to Boeing in the market for commercial jets. The group’s military division received $14.61 billion in 2014 defense revenues, just 18.1% of the company’s total 2014 revenues. The company’s proposed new tanker lost out to Boeing’s KC-46A but it is also a supplier of helicopters.

United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) receive $13.02 billion in defense revenues in 2014, just 20% of the company’s total revenues for the year. UTC was the other company to post a gain in defense revenues compared with 2013, gaining a significant 9.5% over the prior year’s total. The company just sold its Sikorsky helicopter division to Lockheed. UTC’s Pratt & Whitney division is a leading designer and manufacturer of aircraft engines.

Finmeccanica is based in Italy and received $10.56 billion in defense revenues in 2014, down 3.1% compared with the prior year, and accounting for 54.2% of the company’s total revenues in 2014. In addition to defense electronics and security the company is also chasing the new training jet program, but at last look was seeking a U.S. partner after General Dynamics pulled out earlier this year.

L-3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LLL) received $9.81 billion in 2014 defense revenues, nearly 81% of the company’s total annual revenue. The 2014 was down 5.1% year-over-year. The company provides electronics, communications, and security systems as well as modernization, upgrades, and maintenance for military and government aircraft.

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