Special Report

The 18 Weapons Manufacturers Building the US Army’s Guns, Vehicles, and Tech

WO2 Pete Bristo MBE / Wikimedia Commons

The United States has sent billions of dollars in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion of the country in February 2022. Ukrainians soldiers have been armed with tanks, howitzers, mortars, attack drones, and other major weapons systems. Many of the weapons being sent to Ukraine are made by some of the world’s largest and well-known defense contractors. 

Raytheon produces wire-guided long-range precision TOW missiles for striking armored ground vehicles. Lockheed Martin makes the Javelin portable anti-armor system. General Dynamics is the supplier of Stinger man-portable air defense systems, a modern version of the portable rocket launchers the U.S. delivered to Afghanistan’s Mujahideen in their fight against the Soviets in the 1980s. (Here are all of the weapons the U.S. has committed to Ukraine since the invasion.)

As these systems show, Ukraine is waging primarily a ground war against the Russians. It is using the same weapons systems deployed by the U.S. Army. Of course, the DOD has to order the systems sent to Ukraine and the ones the Army uses from defense contractors.

To find the companies making the most weapons systems for the U.S. Army, 247 Wall St. reviewed the most recent Army Weapon Systems Handbook for 2020-2021, published by the U.S. Army. Companies are ranked by the number of weapons systems under contract – whether in development or in active use by the Army. All the contractors listed have at least four systems under contract with the Army. 

Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics are three of the top four U.S. Army weapons systems suppliers based on the number of active military contracts for major weapons systems. They control more than a third of these contracts.

But major weapons systems often have numerous companies involved in their production, including lesser-known companies like North Carolina-based Collins Aerospace, one of the contractors for the Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System, a high-tech reconnaissance drone.

Another well-known contractor is Leonardo DRS, the Arlington, Virginia-based company owned by Italian aerospace and defense multinational Leonardo SpA. Leonardo is the exclusive contractor for certain weapons sights, including ones for medium and large mounted machine guns that use thermal sensors to penetrate battlefield smoke screens. The company holds seventh place in the number of contracts with the U.S. Army. (Also read: this is every gun currently used by the US military.)

The defense division of Rhode Island-based industrial conglomerate Textron is one of the contractors for the manufacture of the 28-foot-long Grey Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle. The UAV can be armed with four Hellfire missiles, made by aerospace and defense behemoth Lockheed Martin.

Here are the contractors that build most U.S. Army weapons systems.

Source: Courtesy of U.S. Army Pine Bluff Arsenal via Facebook

18. Pine Bluff Arsenal
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 4 (tied)
>Notable weapons systems development: Chemical Biological Protective Shelter, Mortar Weapons Systems, Warfighter Health Performance and Evacuation
>Headquarters: Whitehall, AR

Source: Courtesy of Pacific Star Communications via Facebook

17. Pacific Star Communications
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 4 (tied)
>Notable weapons systems in development: Tactical Network Transport, Signal Modernization, Unified Network Operations
>Headquarters: Portland, OR

Source: Jarek Tuszyński / Wikimedia Commons

16. Leidos
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 4 (tied)
>Notable weapons systems in development: Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System, Airborne Reconnaissance Low, Distributed Common Ground System
>Headquarters: Reston, VA

Source: Courtesy of FLIR Systems via Facebook

15. FLIR
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 4 (tied)
>Notable weapons systems in development: Common Robotic System, Next Generation Chemical Detector, Soldier Borne Sensor
>Headquarters: Wilsonville, OR

Source: J. Michael Jones / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

14. Collins Aerospace
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 4 (tied)
>Notable weapons systems in development: Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer, Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems
>Headquarters: Charlotte, NC

Source: Sundry Photography / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

13. Honeywell
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 5 (tied)
>Notable weapons systems in development: Abrams Main Battle Tank, Chinook, Endurance Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Lightweight Towed Howitzer
>Headquarters: Charlotte, NC

Source: Courtesy of CACI International Inc via Facebook

12. CACI
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 5 (tied)
>Notable weapons systems in development: Distributed Common Ground System, Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care, Nuclear Biological Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle
>Headquarters: Arlington, VA

11. Oshkosh
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 6 (tied)
>Notable weapons systems in development: Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, Enhanced Heavy Equipment Transporter System, Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles
>Headquarters: Oshkosh, WI

10. Textron
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 6 (tied)
>Notable weapons systems in development: Endurance Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Next Generation Squad Weapons, Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System
>Headquarters: Providence, RI

Source: Courtesy of Sierra Nevada Corporation via Facebook

9. Sierra Nevada Corporation
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 7
>Notable weapons systems in development: Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System, Integrated Tactical Network, Guardrail Common Sensor
>Headquarters: Sparks, NV

Source: J. Crocker / Wikimedia Commons

8. Boeing
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 8
>Notable weapons systems in development: Apache Attack Helicopter, Avenger Air Defense System, Chinook, Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense
>Headquarters: Arlington, VA

Source: Courtesy of Leonardo DRS, Inc. via Facebook

7. Leonardo DRS
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 12
>Notable weapons systems in development: Lightweight Towed Howitzer, Sustainment Tactical Network, Military Bridging Systems
>Headquarters: Arlington, VA

Source: Brown / Getty Images

6. BAE Systems
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 14
>Notable weapons systems in development: Aircraft Survivability Equipment, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Hydra Rocket Systems, Unified Command Suite
>Headquarters: Farnborough, United Kingdom

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

5. Northrop Grumman Corporation
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 16
>Notable weapons systems in development: Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense, Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control, Rocket Artillery Mortar Warn
>Headquarters: West Falls Church, VA

Source: krblokhin / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

4. Raytheon
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 17
>Notable weapons systems in development: Improved Target Acquisition System, Patriot Advanced Capability, Land-based Phalanx Weapon System, Indirect Fire Protection Capability
>Headquarters: Arlington, VA

Source: Kevin Moloney / Getty Images

3. Lockheed Martin
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 24
>Notable weapons systems in development: Hellfire Family of Missiles, High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, Patriot Advanced Capability, Counterfire Radar, Stinger Block I with Proximity Fuze
>Headquarters: Bethesda, MD

Source: JHVEPhoto / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

2. L3Harris Technologies
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 26
>Notable weapons systems in development: Phoenix E-Model Ground Satellite Terminal, Apache Attack Helicopter, Transportable Tactical Command Communications
>Headquarters: New York City, NY

Source: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

1. General Dynamics
>Number of systems under contract for US Army: 31
>Notable weapons systems in development: Air and Missile Defense Planning and Control System, Abrams Main Battle Tank, Mortar Weapons Systems, Stryker Brigade Combat Team
>Headquarters: Reston, VA

Sponsored: Attention Savvy Investors: Speak to 3 Financial Experts – FREE

Ever wanted an extra set of eyes on an investment you’re considering? Now you can speak with up to 3 financial experts in your area for FREE. By simply clicking here you can begin to match with financial professionals who can help guide you through the financial decisions you’re making. And the best part? The first conversation with them is free.

Click here to match with up to 3 financial pros who would be excited to help you make financial decisions.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.