Infographic Category Business

Babylon: The World’s Top Defense Companies by Revenue

By | source:Here Nov 18th, 2023

Here are the top defense companies by revenue, as ranked by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). These companies account for more than 75% of all defense spending in the world.

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin is the largest defense contractor in the world, with annual revenue of $63.3 billion and headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. It employs approximately 98,000 people worldwide and manufactures and sells fighter aircraft and surveillance systems; space launch vehicles; missiles; rotary wing aircraft; mission integration services for naval programs; information technology solutions; high-energy lasers for directed energy weapons applications; cyber security solutions for federal agencies including NSA/NGA/CIA/DIA etc.


RTX is the world’s fourth-largest defense contractor and a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science & Industry Corp (CASIC), which is itself an offshoot of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense. The company was founded in 2000 as part of a government initiative to consolidate various state-owned companies into larger entities with greater financial resources and expertise, giving them greater access to international markets. RTX has been particularly active over the past few years; it purchased American missile maker Orbital ATK for $7B in 2018 and invested $10B in Russia’s Tactical Missiles Corporation earlier this year. It also purchased French drone manufacturer Aelis Technologies earlier this year for $5B; Aelis produces both military drones and civilian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman is an American global aerospace and defense technology company formed by Northrop’s 1994 purchase of Grumman. Northrop Grumman is headquartered in West Falls Church, Virginia, United States. As of 2018, Northrop Grumman employs approximately 98,000 people worldwide and reported $34 billion in revenue during 2017. It has been ranked as one of the top 100 largest federal contractors. Northrop Grumman contributes to society through innovation-driven technologies for critical missions; it serves customers in sectors such as health care; business and commercial aviation; space exploration/space systems development; naval vessels/maritime systems development; missiles/munitions; intelligence surveillance reconnaissance satellite communications technology development.


Avic is the largest defense contractor in China and one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers. It was founded in 1956 as Aircraft Factory 1, then renamed Avic Industrial Corporation (AVIC) in 1990. The company’s products include:

  • Aircraft–including fixed-wing and rotary models; helicopters; unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); space launch vehicles; missiles; radar systems; armored vehicles; naval vessels; land vehicles such as trucks and buses; railcars
  • Equipment–including engines for both military uses as well as civilian transportation


Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company, with more than $100 billion in annual revenue. It’s also one of the largest manufacturers of commercial jets and defense, space and security systems; its product line includes airliners such as the 737 MAX series and military aircraft like the F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet. Boeing has been around since 1916 when William Boeing founded Pacific Aero Products Company in Seattle Washington. Since then it has grown into a major global enterprise with over 150 manufacturing locations worldwide; it employs over 130 thousand people working on various projects including designing new planes or upgrading older models like those used during World War II (which lasted from 1939-1945).

General Dynamics

General Dynamics is a global aerospace and defense technology company. It was founded in 1952 and has its headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia. General Dynamics is the world’s fifth-largest defense contractor by revenue, generating $31 billion in 2017. General Dynamics produces aircraft, weapons systems and information technology solutions for the military market as well as commercial aviation services through its subsidiary Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation (GAC). The company also provides information technology services through GDC Information Systems Incorporated (GDCISI), which includes government customers such as the U.S Navy and intelligence agencies like National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).

Bae Systems

Bae Systems is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company. It was formed in 1999 by the merger of British Aerospace (BAe) with Marconi Electronic Systems, a subsidiary of GEC. The company owns extensive assets in several areas, such as electronics, land systems and information technology (IT). BAE Systems also provides maintenance services to customers worldwide through its Maintainer organisation which has over 17000 employees working at more than 250 locations worldwide. In 2012 Bae Systems sold its 8% shareholding in Airbus Group for GBP4 billion which allowed it to reduce debt by GBP2 billion and invest in new technologies such as cyber security or autonomous vehicles.


China North Industries Group Corp., also known as CNGC, is a Chinese state-owned defense company based in Beijing. The group was founded in 1958 and provides a wide range of military equipment, from tanks to fighter jets. It has been involved in several international joint ventures with Western companies such as Boeing and General Electric (GE). In 2015, its total revenue was $18 billion.

L3Harris (Lockheed Martin)

L3Harris is a US-based company that is part of the Lockheed Martin group. It is one of the world’s largest security, intelligence and aerospace companies, with operations in over 25 countries. L3Harris’s revenue for 2016 was $10 billion (USD), making it one of the top 10 defense contractors in the world by revenue. The company produces communications equipment; air traffic control systems; precision weapons; space systems; avionics products such as sensors or radar components for military aircrafts like F-35 Lightning II fighters and C-130J Super Hercules cargo planes; other aerospace products such as radars used on military ships such as destroyers or submarines etc…

I hope this has been an interesting overview of the world’s top defense companies by revenue. It’s a fascinating topic and one that we will continue to explore in future posts. If there are any questions or comments, please leave them below!