The Defense Budget is the largest discretionary item of the Federal Budget, totaling approximately $750 billion in 2021. A large portion of this budget goes to the private sector, including defense contractors. Several defense contractors have annual revenue above $50 billion, with General Dynamics, one of the so-called “Big Five” military contractors, leading the pack.
The Big Five military contractors, which also include Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon, not only have billions of dollars of defense revenue per year, but they also have tens of billions of dollars in backorders for weapons systems that are built over multiple year periods.
General Dynamics, headquartered in Reston, Virginia, has an impressive revenue of just above $38 billion and profits of just over $3 billion. Its market capitalization is over $60 billion. The company has 31 contracts with the Army alone, based on the most recent Army Weapon Systems Handbook for 2020-2021, published by the U.S. Army. Notable weapons systems in development include air and missile defense planning and control systems, Abrams main battle tanks, mortar weapons systems, and Stryker brigade combat team.
It’s worth noting that outside of the Big Five, the production of major weapons systems involve numerous lesser known companies, such as North Carolina-based Collins Aerospace, one of the contractors for the Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System, a high-tech reconnaissance drone.
In conclusion, General Dynamics is one of the largest defense contractors in the world, with a significant portion of the defense budget allocated to the company and its weapons systems. Its impressive revenue, profits and market capitalization are a testament to the company’s influence and significance in the defense industry.