The major armaments companies turned over almost 360 billion US dollars in arms and armaments last year. That emerges from the current report of the peace research institute Sipri. This means that sales in the arms industry last year were almost ten percent higher than in 2018.
For this year’s study, Sipri limited itself to 25 armaments companies instead of the 100 corporations examined in previous years. Many of the companies are not pure arms companies, but sales in the military equipment business are decisive for the ranking.
The USA continues to be the largest arms and armaments market. Around 61 percent of all revenues in the arms business come from American companies. The five largest US corporations in the industry alone had combined sales of 166 billion US dollars in 2019. Chinese manufacturers of military equipment are gaining in importance: three companies from the People’s Republic made it into the top ten.
These are the largest defense companies in 2019
# 10 L3Harris Technologies
Prince Charles takes a seat in a flight simulator from L3Harris Technologies. The US corporation earned $ 13.9 billion in the arms business last year. The company was created from a merger of Harris and L3 Technologies. The merged group was thus able to place itself among the ten largest defense companies for the first time.
# 9 Norinco Group
The acronym Norinco stands for China North Industries Corporation. The company, which manufactures tanks among other things, made a total of 14.5 billion dollars with armaments. The group is also active in many other business areas: the armaments business accounts for just 22 percent of total sales.
@imago images / Xinhua
# 8 CETC
The China Electronics Technology Group is not a pure arms company either. Defense sales in 2019 were $ 15.1 billion, which is 46 percent of total revenues. Among other things, the company develops radar systems for military use. The photo shows the CETC booth at an armaments fair in Egypt in 2018.
@imago images / IP3press
# 7 BAE Systems
The British company BAE Systems is a pure arms manufacturer and the only European representative in the top ten. The British generated $ 22.4 billion in armaments sales in 2019. The most important sector is aviation, but land-based weapons systems are also part of the portfolio.
@imago images / Xinhua
# 6 AVIC
China’s largest defense company is the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). He is considered one of the main suppliers to the Chinese Air Force. Defense sales were around $ 22.5 billion, a little over a third of total sales.
@imago images / ZUMA Wire
# 5 General Dynamics
The Virginia-based company had sales of $ 39.4 billion in 2019. Around 62 percent, a good 24.5 billion US dollars, was accounted for by the armaments business, which mainly consists of aircraft and submarines. The picture shows the USS North Dakota, which was built by General Dynamics for the Navy.
# 4 Raytheon
In spring, the US company Raytheon merged with the United Technologies Corporation and became Raytheon Technologies. For 2019, however, Sipri only looks at Raytheon: Compared to 2018, sales from arms exports rose by 6.1 percent. That corresponds to a turnover of 25.3 billion US dollars. The US government accounts for a large part of sales. It is supplied with military aircraft and missile equipment from Raytheon.
@imago images / UPI Photo
# 3 Northrop Grumman
In addition to classic arms production for the aviation and shipping industries, the US company Northrop Grumman also manufactures sorting machines for letters. The core business, with 86 percent of sales, is armaments. Northrop generated sales of 29.2 billion US dollars in fiscal year 2019. Compared to the previous year, this is an increase of almost a tenth. In addition to the stealth bomber B-2 (see picture), the Global Hawk reconnaissance drone is one of the best-known armaments products.
# 2 Boeing
Above all, Boeing is known as the largest civil aircraft manufacturer worldwide. However, the US company is also active in the arms business. Around USD 33.6 billion – around 44 percent of total sales – came from the business area in 2019. The portfolio ranges from fighter jets and weapon systems to helicopters and transport aircraft (such as the Globemaster III in the picture).
@imago images / MediaPunch
# 1 Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin leads the ranking again in 2019. In 2019, the company sold defense equipment worth $ 53.2 billion – an 11 percent increase over the previous year. The group focuses on the development of aerospace technology, but missiles are also part of the portfolio. The most important customer is the US government. The picture shows the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.