The top 12 biggest defense contractors in America in 2017 amassed over 240,000 contracts from the Department of Defense alone and get billions of dollars from the government for various projects. Given that the United States has the largest military and defense budgets in the world, at $700 billion, many companies that are providing services and equipment for the military are well positioned to earn money that they can also use on research and development, which in turn makes them more competitive and attractive overseas. Because of these companies’ strong positions, the biggest defense contractors in America have been at the top of the list for years.
The top 12 biggest defense contractors in America in 2017 as well as their peers are well-positioned to enjoy further growth, as military spending is expected to increase under the new White House administration, which has made strengthening the U.S military one of its priorities. Just last month, the Senate passed a defense policy bill worth $700 billion, which includes $640 billion for basic Pentagon operations and $60 billion for overseas war actions in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and other regions. The new budget is significantly higher than this year’s figure of $589 billion and is above the defense budgets passed during any year of the Obama administration, when the highest amount was $691 billion approved for 2010.
Given that there have been many global tensions lately, which are expected to continue to persist in the foreseeable future, the top 12 biggest defense contractors in America in 2017 should enjoy more contracts being awarded. The U.S government has signaled that the US Navy and the US Air Force should increase their spending and acquire new assets. The U.S is currently facing tensions in the South China Sea, where China is building artificial islands with military installations on them as a display of force and to extend its military capabilities. The U.S and its allies in the region will have to strengthen their own positions and conduct more surveillance and patrolling operations. The U.S also provides military support to Saudi Arabia, which is currently in conflict with Yemen. Russia and Ukraine are still in conflict over the annexation of Crimea and engaged in military operations in eastern Ukraine, and the US Senate has authorized providing assistance and weapons to Ukraine. Moreover, North Korea is a major threat to the U.S and the rest of the world, advancing its development of nuclear missiles. The Islamic State remains a major threat in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
All these tensions and threats suggest that the U.S government will boost military spending after years of slowdown. Between 2010 and 2017, the US Department of Defense’s budget was cut to $589 billion from $691 billion. During the same period, global defense spending also fell to $1.76 trillion from $1.77 trillion, but in the last three years it has registered some growth. In this way, some companies among the top 12 biggest defense contractors in America in 2017 are also some of the 10 biggest defense contractors in the world, having gone overseas to find sales opportunities, mainly in the Middle East.
Let’s now take a look at the top 12 biggest defense contractors in America in 2017 based on the total value of contracts awarded by the Department of Defense, according to information provided by the US General Services Administration. Surprisingly or not, while the bulk of the biggest defense contractors in America in 2017 are defense companies, the list also includes companies from other industries.