Special Report

20 Companies Profiting the Most From War


Source: Nilfanion / Wikimedia Commons

8. Thales
> Country: France
> Arms sales: $9.0 billion
> Total sales: $17.8 billion
> Profit: $931.1 million
> Employees: 65,000

This Paris-based contractor, which offers products and services in land, air, sea, and cyber defense, went from the world’s ninth largest defense contractor in 2016 to eighth largest in 2017 after its total arms sales jumped 7% from $8.4 billion to $9.0 billion. Late last year, the company announced a deal with the French Navy to install seven new radar systems on frigates for missile fire control. When released, 2018’s figures may show even more growth for the company. As of the first quarter of 2018, the value of all orders increased 34% from the first quarter of 2017.

Source: austrianairlines / Flickr

7. Airbus Group
> Country: Trans-European
> Arms sales: $11.3 billion
> Total sales: $75.2 billion
> Profit: $3.3 billion
> Employees: 133,671

Though the company’s primary business is in commercial and private aircraft, Airbus is the second largest defense contractor in Europe. Airbus has taken orders for over 600 of its Eurofighter Typhoon jet from a number of countries, including Austria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar. The company has also taken hundreds of orders for its A400M and C295 transport aircraft. Airbus makes secure communication devices for a client list that includes NATO and the French Navy. Like many other companies on this list, Airbus is involved in cybersecurity and has worked with defense departments of countries across Europe to protect vulnerable systems from cyber threats.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

6. General Dynamics Corp.
> Country: United States
> Arms sales: $19.5 billion
> Total sales: $31.0 billion
> Profit: $2.9 billion
> Employees: 105,600

Incorporated in 1952, General Dynamics has sold a wide range of armaments, including missiles, warships, submarines, and rockets to all branches of the U.S. military since its beginning. In 2017, the Falls Church, Virginia, contractor sold $19.5 billion worth of arms, the fifth most of any U.S. company and the sixth most of any company worldwide. In 2017, the company received a $5.1 billion contract to design and develop a prototype of the Columbia-class submarine and delivered the latest iteration of the Abrams tank to the U.S. Army. GD is also the company behind the new Arleigh Burke-class Destroyer and Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer, developed and built at its plant in Bath, Maine. Like a number of other companies on this list, GD also provides communications, IT, and cyber security products and services.

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