With an over $800 billion budget request for FY24, the DoD plays a crucial role in national security. And there are a lot of contractors that support the largest U.S. federal government agency, when you’re measuring budget and spending. But in order to get all the work done, the DoD heavily relies on contractors to keep the world turning in national security.

Top 5 Large Defense Contractors

From fighter jets to missiles, these contractors are responsible for developing, manufacturing, and supplying various defense systems. As per the data available in the Congressional Research Service report of 2021, these are the top five largest U.S. defense contractors supporting the national security industry.

1. Lockheed Martin Corporation

Lockheed Martin Corporation is the largest defense contractor in the United States, generating over $60 billion in revenue in 2020. The company’s primary focus is on aerospace, defense, and global security. They manufacture various defense systems, including fighter jets, missiles, and satellites. Some of their notable projects include the F-35 Lightning II, the world’s most advanced fighter jet, and the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite system.

2. Raytheon Technologies Corporation

Raytheon Technologies Corporation is a leading provider of defense and aerospace systems. They generated over $28 billion in revenue from defense contracts in 2020. Raytheon’s primary focus is on missile defense, cybersecurity, and intelligence. Some of their notable defense projects include the Tomahawk cruise missile and the Patriot missile defense system.

3. Boeing

Boeing is another significant defense contractor. Their primary focus is on the production of commercial and military aircraft, as well as spacecraft and satellites. Some of their notable defense projects include the F-15E Strike Eagle and the P-8A Poseidon.

In its 2020 annual report, Boeing reported that its Defense, Space & Security (BDS) segment, which includes DoD contracts as well as sales to other government agencies and international customers, had a total revenue of $26.9 billion in 2020. However, this figure includes revenue from all of BDS’s activities and not just its DoD contracts.

4. General Dynamics Corporation

General Dynamics Corporation is a diversified defense contractor, with over $10 billion in revenue from defense contracts in 2020. And according to their annual  2020 financial report, the company’s defense-related sales accounted for approximately $29.4 billion, or about 78% of total revenue. They produce a range of defense systems, including submarines, tanks, and combat vehicles. General Dynamics is known for its work on important defense programs such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the Abrams tank, and the Virginia-class submarine.

5. Northrop Grumman Corporation

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading provider of defense and aerospace systems. They generated over $13 billion in revenue from defense contracts in 2020, and according to their 2020 financial results that include all business operations and not just DoD contracts, Northrop Grumman reported total revenues of $35.8 billion for the year.

Northrop Grumman’s primary focus is on aerospace, cyber, and logistics. Some of their notable defense projects include the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber and the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle.

The Future of the DoD

These large contractors are critical  partners with the DoD, producing some of the most advanced military technology in the world. And they play a vital role in keeping the United States safe and secure. As defense spending continues to increase, these companies are likely to remain at the forefront of the industry, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and helping to shape the future of military technology.

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.