Military contractor

A defense contractor (or security contractor) is a business organization or individual that provides products or services to a military or intelligence department of a government. Products typically include military or civilian aircraft, ships, vehicles, weaponry, and electronic systems. Services can include logistics, technical support and training, communications support, and in some cases team-based engineering in cooperation with the government.

Security contractors do not generally provide direct support of military operations. Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, military contractors engaged in direct support of military operations may be legitimate targets of military attacks.

Defense contracting has expanded dramatically over the last decade, particularly in the United States, where in the last fiscal year the Department of Defense spent nearly $316 billion on contracts.[1] Contractors have also assumed a much larger on-the-ground presence during recent American conflicts: during the 1991 Gulf War the ratio of uniformed military to contractors was about 50 to 1, while during the first four years of the Iraq War the U.S. hired over 190,000 contractors, surpassing the total American military presence even during the 2007 Iraq surge and 23 times greater than other allied military personnel numbers.[1] In Afghanistan, the presence of almost 100,000 contractors has resulted in a near 1 to 1 ratio with military personnel.[1]

The surge in spending on defense services contractors that began in 2001 came to a halt in 2009 with a new eye on the bottom line, leading to the Better Buying Power initiative of 2010.[2][3]

List of notable defense contractors worldwide

11 of the following companies are located within the Northeast megalopolis, including four in Northern Virginia.

2011 rank 2010 rank 2009 rank 2008 rank 2007 rank Company (country) 2011 arms sales (US$ m.) 2010 arms sales (US$ m.) 2009 arms sales (US$ m.) 2008 arms sales (US$ m.) 2007 arms sales (US$ m.) Arms sales as share of company’s total sales (%),
1 1 1 2 3 United States Lockheed Martin 36270 35730 33430 29880 29400 78
2 3 3 3 1 United States Boeing 31830 31360 32300 29200 30480 46
3 2 2 1 2 United Kingdom BAE Systems 29150 32880 33250 32420 29860 95
4 5 5 5 5 United States General Dynamics 23760 23940 25590 22780 21520 73
5 6 6 6 6 United States Raytheon 22470 22980 21030 23080 19540 90
6 4 4 4 4 United States Northrop Grumman 21390 28150 27000 26090 24600 81
7 7 7 7 7 European Union EADS 16390 16360 17900 15930 13100 24
8 8 8 8 9 Italy Finmeccanica 14560 14410 13280 13020 9850 60
9 9 9 9 8 United States L-3 Communications 12520 13070 13010 12160 11240 83
10 10 10 11 11 United States United Technologies Corporation 11640 11410 11110 9980 8760 20
11 11 11 10 10 France Thales Group 9480 9950 10200 10760 9350 52
12 12 12 12 12 United States SAIC 7940 8230 8030 7350 6250 75
13 - - - - United States Huntington Ingalls Industries 6380 - - - - 97
14 15 14 15 15 United States Honeywell 5280 5400 5380 5310 5020 14
15 16 16 25 14 France SAFRAN 5240 4800 4740 3020 5230 32
16 14 13 14 13 United States Computer Sciences Corp. 4860 5940 6050 5710 5420 31
17 17 19 17 17 United Kingdom Rolls-Royce 4670 4330 4140 4720 4580 26
18 21 - - - Russia United Aircraft Corporation 4440 3440 - - - 80
19 13 27 37 45 United States Oshkosh Corporation 4370 7080 2770 2070 1570 58
20 18 18 22 20 United States General Electric 4100 4300 4700 3650 3460 3
21 19 17 16 19 United States ITT Corp. 4020 4000 4730 5170 3850 69
22 20 22 18 23 Russia Almaz-Antey 3690 3950 3260 4340 2780 85

[nb 1]

Source: http://www.sipri.org/research/armaments/production/Top100 "Arms sales are defined by SIPRI as sales of military goods and services to military customers, including both domestic and export sales. Military goods and services are those [...]designed specifically for military purposes."

See also

References

External links

  • The British Library - finding information on the defence industry
  • Private Security Transnational Enterprises in Colombia
  • Human Rights First; Private Security Contractors at War: Ending the Culture of Impunity (2008)
  • Defense Contracting Jobseekers FAQ
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