Dubai, UAE — November 14, 2021: Raytheon Technologies exhibitor pavilion at Dubai Airshow 2021 exhibiting the American aerospace and weapons company’s arms merchandise. (Arnold O. A. Pinto /
Weapons Contractors Thrive Despite Pandemic, Supply Chain Issues

America’s top weapons contractors had another banner year in 2021 despite labor and supply chain issues linked to the COVID pandemic and other global economic challenges, according to the latest edition of the Defense News tally of the Top 100 defense companies for 2021.

Lockheed MartinLMT +0.6% topped the list for the 23rd year running, with defense-related revenues of over $64 billion, which accounted for a whopping 96% of the company’s total for the year.

The top five companies on the list were all American firms, as might be expected given a Pentagon budget of over $800 billion per year and the dominance of U.S. companies in the international arms market. The five – Lockheed Martin, Raytheon TechnologiesRTX +1.5%, BoeingBA +2.4%, Northrop GrummanNOC -0.1%, and General DynamicsGD +0.8%, in that order – split over $200 billion in defense-related revenues among them, over 28% of the total received by the top 100 firms.

The bonanza for weapons makers is likely to continue this year and next, as hawks in Congress compete over how much to add to the Pentagon’s already substantial budget request for Fiscal Year 2023, pushing the total for the Department of Defense and work on nuclear weapons at the Department of Energy to $850 billion or more. That’s far more than during the peak years of the Korean or Vietnam Wars, and well over $100 billion above the largest spending year during the Cold War. And that’s not even counting the contractor’s share of the over $23 billion in military spending contained in two emergency aid packages for Ukraine that passed earlier this year. Overall, more than half of all of the above-mentioned funds will go to contractors, with the top five leading the way.

Read the full article in Forbes.

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