Special Report

These States Make the Most Weapons for the US Army

WO2 Pete Bristo MBE / Wikimedia Commons

The United States has the world’s largest defense industry, spending more than $1.7 trillion last fiscal year. 

The manufacture and sale of everything from service revolvers to tactical drones, as well as the maintenance and operation of the country’s 420 military installations scattered across the country, make up a significant share of local economies. Defense spending as a share of GDP is as high as 12% and 10% in Virginia and Hawaii, respectively. (Here are states with the largest U.S. Army presence.)

For example, 417 military contractors in 40 states support only the material needs of the U.S. Army, the largest and oldest branch of the U.S. military.

To find the states with the most U.S. Army contractors, 247 Wall St. reviewed the most recent Army Weapon Systems Handbook for 2020-2021, published by the Army, and identified how many defense contractors operate in each state. These contractors produce weapons systems in development or in active use by the U.S. Army. States are ranked by the number of contractors operating in the state. Ten states have no contractors operating in them. 

Due to their proximity to the nation’s capital where defense spending decisions are made, Virginia and Maryland are home to 92 of these Army contractors, including the world’s largest aerospace and defense companies General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin.

Eleven states, mostly on the East Coast, have at least 10 Army weapons contractors, though Texas and California are home to 24 and 44, respectively. Manufacturers in Maine and Oklahoma produce medium caliber ammunition, while companies in eight states make artillery shells. Contractors that build the Apache helicopters and mortar systems are spread out across five states.

Army contracts also go to small, lesser-known companies like TrellisWare of Idaho, which makes portable radiation-detection systems; Stark Aerospace in Mississippi that produces tactical unmanned aerial vehicles; and Tennessee-based Accurate Energetic Systems that makes various explosives.

Defense contractors also include companies better known for their consumer products, including Dell, IBM, General Motors, and Daimler Trucks. This list also of course includes firearms makers, namely Sig Sauer in New Hampshire and Remington in New York, that produce service weapons for the Army. (Here is every firearm currently used by the U.S. military.)

Here are the states with the most U.S. Army weapons contracts.

40. Idaho
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 1 (tied)
> Notable contractors: TrellisWare
> Associated weapons systems: Integrated Tactical Network and Man-portable Radiological Detection System

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

39. Maine
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 1 (tied)
> Notable contractors: General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems
> Associated weapons systems: Ammunition — Medium and Large Caliber, Small Arms — Crew Served Weapons, and Next Generation Squad Weapons

38. Mississippi
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 1 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Stark
> Associated weapons systems: Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

37. Oklahoma
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 1 (tied)
> Notable contractors: McAlester Army Ammunition Plant
> Associated weapons systems: Ammunition — Medium Caliber

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36. Rhode Island
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 1 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Textron
> Associated weapons systems: Next Generation Squad Weapons, Guardrail Common Sensor, Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System

35. Nevada
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 2 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Sierra Nevada Corporation and U.S. Ordnance
> Associated weapons systems: Integrated Tactical Network, Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System, and Small Arms — Crew Served Weapons

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34. New Mexico
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 2 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Wildflower International
> Associated weapons systems: Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program, Improved Target Acquisition System, and Patriot Advanced Capability

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

33. Connecticut
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 3 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Danbury Mission Technologies, Goodrich, and Sikorsky
> Associated weapons systems: Aircraft Survivability Equipment, Chinook, Black Hawk Utility Helicopter, Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, and Future Long Range Assault Aircraft

Source: dangarneau / iStock via Getty Images

32. Iowa
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 3 (tied)
> Notable contractors: American Ordnance, Collins Aerospace, and Rockwell Collins
> Associated weapons systems: Artillery Ammunition, Mortar Weapon System, Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System, and Chinook

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31. Kansas
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 3 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Day & Zimmermann, Leading Technology Composites, and Textron Aviation
> Associated weapons systems: Artillery Ammunition, Mortar Weapon System, Soldier Protection System, and Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System

Source: jbentley09 / iStock via Getty Images

30. Oregon
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 3 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Daimler Trucks North America, Pacific Star Communications, and Vigor Works
> Associated weapons systems: Line Haul Tractor, Tactical Network Transport, Unified Network Operations, and Army Watercraft Systems

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29. Vermont
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 3 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Galvion and General Dynamics
> Associated weapons systems: Soldier Protection System, Integrated Tactical Network, Mortar Weapons Systems, and Signal Modernization

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

28. Kentucky
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 4 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass, Conco, Fibrotex USA, and FLIR
> Associated weapons systems: Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives, Hydra Rocket Systems, and Ultra Lightweight Camouflage Net System

27. Minnesota
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 4 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Cummins Power Generation, Northrop Grumman Defense Systems, and Orbital Alliant Techsystems
> Associated weapons systems: Tactical Electric Power, Defense Enterprise Wideband SATCOM System, and Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control

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Source: Kendra Harrell / iStock via Getty Images

26. Tennessee
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 4 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Accurate Energetic, BAE Systems, and Barrett Firearms Manufacturing
> Associated weapons systems: Precision Weapons — Individual Weapons, Lightweight Towed Howitzer, Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, and Joint Battle Command-Platform

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

25. Arkansas
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 5 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Aerojet Rocketdyne, Lockheed Martin, and Spectra
> Associated weapons systems: Stinger Block I with Proximity Fuze, Javelin Close Combat Missile System, and Artillery Ammunition

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Source: f11photo / iStock via Getty Images

24. Missouri
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 5 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Asynchrony Labs, DRS Sustainment Systems, Leonardo DRS, and Northrop Grumman
> Associated weapons systems: Man-portable Radiological Detection System, Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense, and Joint Battle Command-Platform

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

23. New Hampshire
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 5 (tied)
> Notable contractors: BAE Systems, L3Harris, L3Warrior, Optics 1, and Sig Sauer
> Associated weapons systems: Artillery Ammunition, Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, Transportable Tactical Command Communications, and Enhanced Night Vision Goggle

22. Washington
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 5 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Berg, Fluke Corp., InBios International, Microsoft, and Oshkosh Defense
> Associated weapons systems: Force Provider Expeditionary, Calibration Sets, Warfighter Protection and Acute Care, and Tactical Network Transport

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21. Wisconsin
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 5 (tied)
> Notable contractors: AMTEC Corp., Case New Holland, Oshkosh, and Vortex Optics
> Associated weapons systems: Artillery Ammunition, High Mobility Engineer Excavator Type I and Type III, Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, and Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles

20. Colorado
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 6 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Birdon America, GPS Source, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman
> Associated weapons systems: Military Bridging Systems, Mounted Assured Positioning Navigation and Timing System, and Precision Strike Missile

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19. South Carolina
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 6 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Critical Solutions International, Fabrique National Manufacturing, Sius Target Systems, and Steven Aerospace and Defense Systems
> Associated weapons systems: Future Army System of Integrated Targets, Small Arms — Crew Served Weapons, and Mine Protection Vehicle Family

18. Utah
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 6 (tied)
> Notable contractors: BioFire Defense, L3 Communications, L3 Harris, and Visionary Products
> Associated weapons systems: Radiological Detection System, Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Medical, and Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

17. Indiana
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 7
> Notable contractors: AM General, Cummins, Flexible Concepts, and Raytheon
> Associated weapons systems: High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Mortar Weapon Systems, Improved Target Acquisition System

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16. Arizona
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 8 (tied)
> Notable contractors: General Dynamics, Honeywell, L3, and Raytheon
> Associated weapons systems: Hydra Rocket Systems, Military Bridging Systems, Abrams Main Battle Tank, Artillery Ammunition, and Patriot Advanced Capability

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

15. Georgia
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 8 (tied)
> Notable contractors: 4K Solutions, Gulfstream, Janus Research Group, and JCB
> Associated weapons systems: Integrated Tactical Network, Fixed Wing, Phoenix E-Model Ground Satellite Terminal, and Tactical Network Transport

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

14. Michigan
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 9 (tied)
> Notable contractors: BAE Systems, Detroit Diesel, General Motors Defense, Globe Tech, & L3Harris
> Associated weapons systems: Artillery Ammunition, Line Haul Tractor, and Infantry Squad Vehicle

13. North Carolina
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 9 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Daimler Trucks North America, Honeywell, Red Hat, and PPD
> Associated weapons systems: Line Haul Tractor, Abrams Main Battle Tank, Lightweight Towed Howitzer, and Distributed Common Ground System

Source: pawel.gaul / E+ via Getty Images

12. Ohio
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 9 (tied)
> Notable contractors: AlphaMicron, BAE Systems, HDT Global, L3Harris, and TenCate Advanced Armour
> Associated weapons systems: Soldier Protection System, Aircraft Survivability Equipment, Force Provided Expeditionary, and Signal Modernization

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11. New Jersey
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 10
> Notable contractors: Acrow, Booz Allen Hamilton, L3Harris, and Perspecta Labs
> Associated weapons systems: Military Bridging Systems, Command Hardware Systems, Unified Command Suite, and Unified Network Operations

10. Illinois
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 12 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Boeing, Caterpillar, General Dynamics, Motorola, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon
> Associated weapons systems: Apache Attack Helicopter, Avenger Air Defense System, Medium Dozer, Motor Grader, and Unified Command Suite

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

9. Massachusetts
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 12 (tied)
> Notable contractors: General Dynamics, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and SimSpace
> Associated weapons systems: Black Hawk Utility Helicopter, Apache Attack Helicopter, Patriot Advanced Capability, Precision Strike Missile, and Hellfire Family of Missile

8. New York
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 12 (tied)
> Notable contractors: Buffalo Turbine, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Remington Arms Co., and Watervliet Arsenal
> Associated weapons systems: Mine-Protection Vehicle Family, Distributed Cmmon Ground System, Precision Weapons — Individual Weapons, and Guardrail Common Sensor

Source: pierre9x6 / Flickr

7. Pennsylvania
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 13
> Notable contractors: Action Manufacturing, Boeing, General Dynamics, Letterkenny Army Depot, and Lifelens
> Associated weapons systems: Force Provider Expeditionary, Warfighter Health Performance and Evacuation, Artillery Ammunition, and Hydra Rocket Systems

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6. Texas
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 24
> Notable contractors: Airbus Helicopter, Dell, King Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Ultra Electronics
> Associated weapons systems: Lakota — Light Utility Helicopter, Fixed Wing, Distributed Common Ground System, and Air and Missile Defense Planning and Control System

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

5. Alabama
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 26
> Notable contractors: BAE Systems, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman
> Associated weapons systems: Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Apache Attack Helicopter, and Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense

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Source: zodebala / iStock via Getty Images

4. Maryland
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 39
> Notable contractors: Booz Allen Hamilton, Cellphire, Lockheed Martin, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, and Sierra Nevada Corporation
> Associated weapons systems: Common Hardware Systems, Unified Command Suite, Warfighter Protection and Acute Care, Apache Attack Helicopter, and Joint Air-to-Ground Missile

3. Florida
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 43
> Notable contractors: Blue Sky, Honeywell, Hoverfly, Longbow, Phoenix Defense, and Raytheon
> Associated weapons systems: Signal Modernization, Abrams Main Battle Tank, Integrated Tactical Network, Apache Attack Helicopter, and Joint Land Component Constructive Training Capability

2. California
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 44
> Notable contractors: Cisco Systems, L3, Oracle, Palantir, and Raytheon
> Associated weapons systems: Signal Modernization, Mortar Weapon Systems, Distributed Common Ground System, and Army Vantage

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Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

1. Virginia
> Number of US Army contractors operating in the state: 53
> Notable contractors: Bowhead, Collins Aerospace, Eagle Industries, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon
> Associated weapons systems: Common Hardware Systems, Joint Battle Command-Platform, Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer, and Soldier Protection System

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