Special Report

20 Companies Profiting the Most From War

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15. United Aircraft Corp.
> Profits for most recent fiscal year: $348.1 million (operating profit) 
> Arms and military services sales in 2018: $5.42 billion
> Arms sales as pct. of total sales in 2018: 83.0%
> 1-year change in arms sales: -12.0%

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has been transitioning to a privatized economy. The defense industry, however, remains almost entirely state owned. United Aircraft Corporation was established by decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin in early 2006. The company manufactures civil and special purpose aircraft, but it makes most of its money from arms sales — $5.4 billion in 2018, or 83% of its total revenue that year. UAC’s military aircraft include MiG, Sukhoi, and Yak fighter jets. Though it is based in Russia, UAC has partners in India and Italy.

14. Honeywell International
> Profits for most recent fiscal year: $6.83 billion
> Arms and military services sales in 2018: $5.43 billion
> Arms sales as pct. of total sales in 2018: 13.0%
> 1-year change in arms sales: 19.0%

Honeywell International sells its software and consulting services in a range of industries, including health care, oil and gas, manufacturing, and industrials. For decades, Honeywell has had a contract with the U.S. Army to develop longer range weapons systems, operating systems for unmanned aerial vehicles, and missile navigation systems. The company made $5.4 billion from arms sales in 2018, a 19% increase from 2017. The company has also manufactured over 6,000 T55 engines, which the Army uses in its iconic heavy-lift Chinook helicopter. The company announced in April a partnership with CIAC, a provider of maintenance services to civil and military aircraft operators in Colombia, which will allow Honeywell International to enter new markets.

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13. Huntington Ingalls Industries
> Profits for most recent fiscal year: $836.0 million
> Arms and military services sales in 2018: $7.2 billion
> Arms sales as pct. of total sales in 2018: 88.0%
> 1-year change in arms sales: 8.7%

Shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries of Newport News, Virginia, is the sole manufacturer of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers for the United States Navy and is responsible for 70% of the Navy’s current marine fleet. According to SIPRI, HII brought in $7.2 billion in defense revenue in 2018, the eighth most of any U.S. company and 13th most worldwide.

Some of the major contracts awarded to HII in 2019 included one for planning yard design services for nuclear-powered submarines that may be worth more than $454 million. The company is now also one of eight to provide broad analytical and technical services to the U.S. Air Force in network architecture and cybersecurity. This contract may be worth almost $1 billion over the course of five years.

Source: Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images

12. L-3 Technologies
> Profits for most recent fiscal year: N/A
> Arms and military services sales in 2018: $8.25 billion
> Arms sales as pct. of total sales in 2018: 81.0%
> 1-year change in arms sales: 4.0%

L-3 Communications changed its name to L-3 Technologies on Dec. 31, 2016. According to SIPRI estimates, the company’s arms sales in 2018 of $8.3 billion were 4% higher than the previous year. The company’s operations include intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance products and services in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Europe, South Korea, India, Saudi Arabia, and Australia. The company’s communication technology is integrated with the Predator and Global Hawk drones and is used in U.S. Army communication infrastructure. L-3 also designs power distribution systems and communication technology used by the U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class submarine. L-3 Technologies won in 2018 a contract to build the next increment of the U.S. Navy’s airborne jamming system and to upgrade the electronics architecture on the C-130H tactical airlifter.

L-3 Technologies and Harris Corporation, which is also on this list, announced this June they have received regulatory approval for their merger. With total revenue of approximately $18 billion and arms and military services sales of approximately $15 billion, the merger will likely move the re-named L3 Harris Technologies to fifth or sixth on this list.

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11. United Technologies Corp.
> Profits for most recent fiscal year: $5.65 billion
> Arms and military services sales in 2018: $9.31 billion
> Arms sales as pct. of total sales in 2018: 14.0%
> 1-year change in arms sales: 17.0%

Largely through its subsidiary brands Collins Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney, United Technologies is one of the largest defense contractors in the world. Collins Aerospace designs and sells advanced systems for military helicopters, including rescue hoists, autopilot systems, and laser guided weapon warning systems. Pratt & Whitney designs and manufactures engines currently in use by 34 militaries worldwide. In the U.S. military, the F-22 Raptor, F-16, and F-15 fighter jets, as well as the C-17 Globemaster III, are just a few examples of military aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney engines.

After its acquisition of aerospace company Rockwell Collins in November 2018, United Technologies split in 2019 into three independent companies: The company’s defense division remains under the United Technologies name, while the Otis Elevator Company and Carrier HVAC company were split into independent entities.