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15 Biggest Defense Equipment Companies in the World

In this article, we will discuss the 15 Biggest Defense Equipment Companies in the World. If you want to skip our analysis of the defense equipment industry, go directly to 5 Biggest Defense Equipment Companies in the World.

The arms and defense equipment market has continued to grow in 2022 as the geopolitical tensions between countries and the war in Ukraine have increased defense spending worldwide. The military spending surpassed $2 trillion for the first time in 2021. The United States, China, India, the U.K., and Russia are the countries with the biggest budgets for military expenditure and accounted for 62% of global military spending in 2021.

The defense industry received record investments in 2021, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine proved to be a catalyst for increased defense spending for countries worldwide. Consequently, the increased investment has translated into a better performance of the defense equipment industry, and the stocks of defense companies have outperformed the S&P 500 in 2022. Examples of such companies include Raytheon Technologies Corporation (RTX) and General Dynamics Corporation (GD).

The U.S remains a chief contributor to global military expenditure, as it spent $801 billion on military research and development in 2021. The industry is also pivotal to the economy and contributes to a healthy amount of job creation in the country. According to National Shooting Sports Foundation's (NSSF) annual report, the U.S gun industry has continued to contribute to the economy by creating 375,000 new and lucrative jobs since the financial crisis of 2008.

The Biden Administration has also focused on increasing investments in the defense sector of late and increased the defense budget by 4.7% in 2022. The defense budget for the fiscal year 2023 of the United States is laid out at $813 billion. The demand prospects for the defense equipment industry remain bright as ever.

Maxim Tupikov/Shutterstock.com

Our Methodology

We have picked the top 15 biggest defense equipment companies in the world and have ranked them from #15 to #1 in order of their market capitalization.

Biggest Defense Equipment Companies in the World

15. AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV)

Market Cap: $2.16 billion

Hedge Fund Holders: 10

Based in Arlington, Virginia, AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV) is a key supplier of small drones to the U.S military. Its drone product falls under four key categories, namely unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), tactical missile systems (TMS), and associated services mainly to organizations under the U.S Department of Defense as well as to international allied governments.

The company's sales have continued to increase in the past several years, and sales were reported at $367.3 million, $394.9 million, and $445.7 million during FY20, FY21, and FY22, respectively. On September 22, 2022, AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV) was awarded a contract worth $20.6 million from the U.S Army. The company will supply tactical missile systems to the army as per the contract.

In addition to AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT), and Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE:RTX) are included in our list of 15 biggest defense equipment companies in the world.

14. Woodward, Inc. (NASDAQ:WWD)

Market Cap: $5.40 billion

Hedge Fund Holders: 18

Headquartered in Fort Collins, Woodward, Inc. (NASDAQ:WWD) is engaged in the business of control solutions for aerospace and industrial players, including optimization solutions for fluid energy, electrical energy, and motion control. Their service footprint extends to 42 facilities across 13 countries with an employee base of around 7,200 employees. Its product range comprising military equipment is utilized by contractors globally in commercial aircraft, military depots, repair shops, and more. The company's key clients are General Electric and Boeing, with the U.S market accounting for more than 55% of its sales.

13. CAE Inc. (NYSE:CAE)

Market Cap: $5.66 billion

Hedge Fund Holders: 6

CAE Inc. (NYSE:CAE) is a global provider of civil aviation, defense, and security, as well as healthcare solutions. They are leaders in simulation equipment provision, the second largest supplier of defense and security training and medical simulation equipment. Their digital solutions cover a broad range of optimization and security solutions by utilizing A.I., data analytics, 3D modeling, and geospatial intelligence tools. The company has a highly competent specialized workforce of 3,600 employees worldwide and continues to leverage technology to move into new markets. CAE Inc. (NYSE:CAE) attained 600 million digital customer touchpoints in 2021.

12. Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE:CW)

Market Cap: $6.33 billion

Hedge Fund Holders: 21

Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE:CW) is a prominent manufacturer of engineered products. Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE:CW) has a long history, and it was the biggest aircraft engine manufacturer in the U.S before World War 2. It has four business segments, namely Aerospace, Ground & Naval Defense, Commercial Aero, Power & Process, and General Industrial, and serves the defense, commercial, power generation, and other industrial markets. The defense and aerospace markets form about 2/3rd of the company's overall sales, followed by the power and industrial markets.

Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE:CW) has had a phenomenal 2022, which is evidenced by its stock price, up 26% year to date. The company has benefitted from the spike in defense spending around the world and a shift towards nuclear energy to achieve sustainability. Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE:CW) recently announced that it had been picked by Global Air Navigation Services to provide specialized arresting systems to the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Defense.

11. Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ:ESLT)

Market Cap: $8.65 billion

Hedge Fund Holders: 3

Founded in 1966, Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ:ESLT) designs products and applications to be used in aircraft and naval systems. Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ:ESLT) is based in Israel, has over 17,000 employees, and operates in the U.S through its subsidiaries. The products of the company include unmanned aircraft systems, land vehicle systems, and helicopter systems. The products of the company are utilized for the purpose of homeland security and defense capabilities.

The airborne systems segment remains the chief contributor to the company's revenue, followed by the C4ISR segment. The company has seen significant growth in the recent past and has been able to nearly double its revenue from $6.9 billion in 2016 to $13.6 billion in 2021. With its cutting-edge technology, Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ:ESLT) remains well-positioned to continue on its growth trajectory in the expanding defense industry.

10. Axon Enterprise, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXON)

Market Cap: $10.32 billion

Hedge Fund Holders: 26

Headquartered in Arizona, Axon Enterprise, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXON) is a developer, manufacturer, and marketer of law enforcement technological products such as energy weapons, surveillance cameras, and related software. The main revenue drivers for the company are the taser devices, digital evidence management, productivity, real-time operations software, and the sensors segment. Axon Enterprise, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXON) is seeking to revolutionize public safety by continuing to undertake R&D to further promote cloud and Integrated services and expand into new geographies.

As of 2021, the total addressable market (TAM) for Axon Enterprise, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXON) stood at $52 billion. Despite the slowing macro-environment, Axon Enterprise, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXON) has continued to expand its market share and has been substantially increasing its revenue in recent quarters, as it reported a YoY growth in sales of 31% in Q2 2022 and 32% in Q1 2022.

9. Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT)

Market Cap: $14.10 billion

Hedge Fund Holders: 23

Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) started its operation in 1923 as a small industrial venture and exists today as a multi-industry company having operations across a range of industries, including aviation, defense, industrial products, and financial services. It boasts a portfolio of internationally known brands such as Bell, Jacobsen, Beechcraft, Cessna, Arctic Cat, and so on. The company has a global workforce of 33,000 employees spread across 25 countries serving both governments and commercial clients, with the commercial segment being the greater contributor to revenue.

8. Howmet Aerospace Inc. (NYSE:HWM)

Market Cap: $14.76 billion

Hedge Fund Holders: 39

Howmet Aerospace Inc. (NYSE:HWM) manufactures products utilized by companies operating in the commercial, aerospace, and transportation industry. The company offers a diverse range of products ranging from airfoils to lightweight aluminum commercial wheels. The company operates in four key business segments: Engine Products, Fastening Systems, Engineered Structures, and Forged Wheels.

Howmet Aerospace Inc. (NYSE:HWM) was affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 as its sales dropped by 25% in 2020. However, the company quickly rebounded in 2021 and has been able to grow its sales substantially in 2022 as well reporting revenue of $4.1billion in the nine-month period of the current year. The balance sheet of Howmet Aerospace Inc. (NYSE:HWM) also remains robust, and the company recently doubled its dividend for Q4 2022 to $0.04/share. The management expects the commercial aerospace end market to continue to remain strong in the coming years and believes that the defense aerospace market will also start to normalize in 2023.

7. L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:LHX)

Market Cap: $45.07 billion

Hedge Fund Holders: 34

L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:LHX) was formed as a result of a merger between L3 Technologies and Harris Corporation. Headquartered in Florida, it is a leading player in the tactical communications, air traffic management, and geospatial systems cyberspace market. The company operates three business segments, namely integrated mission systems, communication systems & space, and airborne systems. It has an employee base of 47,000 individuals with about 19,000 scientists and engineers onboard, serving governments and the commercial sector across more than 100 countries.

L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:LHX) has been able to post solid financial results in recent years, and the company expects to be able to generate a minimum of  $13.35 in earnings per share during 2022, a 3% increase from 2021.

As per Insider Monkey database, Diamond Hill Capital was the most bullish fund on L3Harris Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:LHX) at the end of the second quarter.

6. General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD)

Market Cap: $67.93 billion

Hedge Fund Holders: 42

Incorporated in 1952, General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) is an international player in the aerospace and defense industry. The company has a diverse product portfolio, comprising everything between business aviation products, weapon systems, and combat vehicles to technology products services and shipbuilding and repair solutions. It operates four business segments: Aerospace, Combat Systems, Marine Systems, and Technologies. The combat systems segment remains the smallest revenue contributor to the company, and the sales from the segment constituted 19% of the company's overall sales in 2021.

General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) is considered a quality stock by investors, and although the company is faced with ongoing supply chain constraints, the company's Gulfstream private jet has experienced high levels of demand, and the company is currently dealing with a heavy backlog which is expected to offset the adverse impacts of supply chain challenges faced by it.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Biggest Defense Equipment Companies in the World.

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Disclosure: None. 15 Biggest Defense Equipment Companies in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.