Lockheed Martin maintains huge lead in global defense industry

Lockheed Martin's F-35 multirole fifth generation fighter jet. (MTI/EPA/Yonhap)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

The success of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 stealth fighter jet saw the U.S. defense giant rake in the most revenue of any defense contractor in the world last year.

According to the financial data published by the top 100 defense companies for last year and compiled by Defense News, six of the world’s top 10 largest defense companies by military revenue are American, with three Chinese firms and one from the U.K. completing the list.

Lockheed Martin posted defense revenues of $64.5 billion, with RTX (previously Raytheon Technologies) a distant second with $41.9 billion. It is, however, worth noting that RTX only derives 59 percent of its revenues from defense as opposed to Lockheed Martin’s 96 percent.

RTX — among many other things — makes the man-portable Javelin anti-tank guided missile, of which it reportedly delivered 7,000 units to Ukraine in the first months of the war.

Third on the list is Northrop Grumman, which famously developed the B-2 stealth bomber, with $32.4 billion in defense revenues last year.

The largest Chinese company that made it into the top 10 in fourth place is AVIC (Aviation Industry Corporation of China), with $30.1 billion, although here again it must be said that AVIC only derives 37 percent of its revenues from defense, with the bulk of its business being commercial airliners.

The only European company that made it into the top 10 is the U.K.’s BAE Systems with $25.8 billion; the company is involved in making fighters, drones, armored vehicles, warships, and submarines.

Further down, the list continues to be dominated by U.S. companies, with China a firm second and a smattering of European companies. Somewhat surprisingly, the largest German defense company, Rheinmetall, only came in 19th with $4.8 billion.

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