9. Bechtel Group Inc.
> FY 2015 contract obligations: $4.65 billion
> FY 2014 contract obligations: $4.10 billion
> FY 2014-2015 change: 13.3%
> Headquarters: San Francisco, California
Bechtel is one of the largest construction and engineering companies in the United States, and one of the only private companies among the largest federal contractors. Founded in 1898, the company has since built some of the largest and most complex structures in the world. Notable projects include the Hoover Dam in 1935, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system in 1976, and the Channel Tunnel in 1994. In fiscal 2015, Bechtel received $4.65 billion in contract payments from the U.S. government.
In the wake of shrinking federal defense spending, Bechtel has diversified its services through a number of acquisitions and partnerships in recent years. Under an ongoing government contract, the company has been building a plant for the disposal of nuclear waste left during the Manhattan Project. The contract was recently modified with a $3.1 billion incentive to help ensure the initial phase of the project is completed by 2022.
8. L-3 Communications Holdings Inc.
> FY 2015 contract obligations: $5.45 billion
> FY 2014 contract obligations: $5.79 billion
> FY 2014-2015 change: -5.9%
> Headquarters: New York, New York
U.S. Department of Defense and other U.S. federal government contracts accounted for approximately 70% of L-3 Communications’ annual revenue of $10.47 billion in 2015. In addition to the U.S. government, L-3 customers include foreign governments and domestic and international commercial customers.
The company’s largest deal last year was the Fort Rucker Maintenance Support contract with the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command (AMCOM). For the duration of the arrangement, L-3 will be responsible for maintenance and support primarily for rotary wing aircraft assigned to Fort Rucker and satellite units in Alabama. This contract alone accounted for 4.3% of L-3’s total 2015 sales. The contract will continue through September 2017.
7. United Technologies Corporation
> FY 2015 contract obligations: $6.79 billion
> FY 2014 contract obligations: $5.98 billion
> FY 2014-2015 change: 13.6%
> Headquarters: Farmington, Connecticut
United Technologies supplies aerospace systems, aircraft components, escalators and elevators, and climate control solutions to private, commercial, and government customers worldwide. The company has a large commercial segment, and government contracts account for just 12% of its total revenue. The largest deal between the U.S. government and United Technologies in the past year was a $1.5 billion contract for the development of propulsion systems for the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet.
Like many large defense contractors, United Technologies has reorganized its business segments in response to a shrinking U.S. defense budget. The company completed the $9 billion sale of its Sikorsky helicopter unit to Lockheed Martin in November 2015.