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Defense News Top 100 Global Defense Companies (2019)

Overall defense revenues for the Top 100 defense companies in the world increased in 2019.


The Defense News Top 100 captures some of the changes — but not all — that are taking place among global defense contractors. As well, there are some enduring characteristics that are reinforced by the 2017 rankings.

Rankings data back to 2003 underscored a prominent, enduring characteristic — namely the stability among the top 10 companies. Lockheed Martin has always been ranked No. 1 in terms of sales. Unless there is merger among two or more of the other top 10 companies or Lockheed Martin is broken up, it’s hard to see how this position will be challenged for years to come. The F-35 program is still growing, and missile and missile-defense production is increasing. The CH-53K should transition from development to production.

Lockheed Martin’s relative position increased in 2017 compared to the next largest defense contractor. For 2003-2016, its defense sales had risen from 10 percent greater than the No. 2 ranked firm to 47 percent greater in 2016. In 2017, its defense sales were twice as much as the No. 2 ranked firm.

Defense Contractor Websites 

Since a defense contractor’s website is one of its most important marketing assets, I included two indicators of a site’s authority as measured by Alexa.com:

  1. Alexa Traffic Rank – an estimate of how popular your site is relative to all other sites. The Alexa Rank answers the question: Compared to all other sites, how is my site doing? Note that since rank is a relative measure, a site’s rank is not only dependent on that site’s traffic, but also on changes to traffic on other sites.
  2. Sites Linking In – inbound links help search engines clearly define your niche and also increase the trust and quality of your site. Authoritative inbound links (from sites that are performing well) give a site credibility. A higher number of inbound links are generally obtained by producing engaging, original content.

For more on improving a site’s Alexa rank, check out “A Guide to Improving Your Alexa Rank.”

One of the best things a defense contractor can do to improve their marketing effectiveness is to start a company blog. This post explains the benefits of blogging for defense contractors:

Why Defense Contractors Can’t Afford Not to Have a Blog

Defense Industry Social Media 

This year’s Top 100 list has a growing number of defense contractors adopting social media. Perhaps surprising to some, much of the interest in social media is being driven by the C-suite:

Why Defense Contractor CEOs Are Getting Serious About Social Media

My research shows that 74% of the Defense News Top 100 have Twitter accounts.

Using Twitter has enormous benefits, is free and easy to use. One of the biggest benefits of using Twitter is with media relations.

If your company is not reaching out to the media with Twitter, you’re doing it the hard way.

This post explains more:

How Defense Contractors Can Improve Public Relations With Twitter


A series of events with the top 2 companies on the Top 100 list (Lockheed Martin and Boeing) is instructive, and is the subject of the book The 4 Billion Dollar Tweet by Ryan Holmes. 

4 Billion Dollar Combo

To listen to a Marketing Book Podcast interview with Ryan Holmes about The Four Billion Dollar Tweet, click here.

It all started with this tweet.

President Trump was accusing Lockheed Martin of wasting billions they were awarded in F-35 contracts.

Inexplicably, Lockheed Martin had no response.

That day, their stock price plummeted 5% of its total value, approximately $4 billion.

Ten days later, Trump tweeted again about Lockheed Martin. Again, no response from Lockheed Martin. Their stock tumbled another $1.2 billion.

Lockheed then underwent months of increased scrutiny and in the end, shaved $700 million off of an F-35 contract.

It didn’t have to be that way. At the same time, Trump was tweeting about the high cost of Boeing’s new Air Force One 747. Rather than turning the other cheek, Boeing’s CEO took to Twitter with a response.

In that case, investors shrugged off the President’s complaint. Boeing’s stock went up that day and finished the quarter on a historic high.

Given the growing importance of Twitter to aerospace and defense companies, I have included a link to each company’s Twitter account if I was able to locate one.

Defense News Twitter.png

I have also set up a list on Twitter of the Defense News Top 100 which can be seen by clicking here or on the adjacent graphic.

Another simple, inexpensive social media platform that a growing number of defense contractors are using is LinkedIn Company pages. With the LinkedIn company page, defense contractors can increase awareness of their company and products, improve search engine rankings and develop more business.

LinkedIn Company pages are also helpful for employee recruitment. In the list below, I have included those LinkedIn Company pages for the Top 100 that have them. Here’s more on how to properly set up and use a LinkedIn Company page:

How Defense Contractors Can Use LinkedIn Company Pages for Marketing

Now onto the good stuff. The companies listed below are based on the Defense News Top 100 2019.

Number Company       Website Grader
1 Lockheed Martin (U.S.) Twitter
Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png

Links: 3,362; Traffic Rank: 51,099

2 Boeing (U.S.) 
Twitter  Untitled   if_square-facebook_317727.png

 Links: 6,200; Traffic Rank: 18,546


Northrop Grumman (U.S.)



Links: 2,059; Traffic Rank: 58,497

4 Raytheon Company (U.S.)

Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png 

 Links: 2,478; Traffic Rank: 51,685

5 Aviation Industry Corporation of China (China)   Untitled   

 Links: 201; Traffic Rank: 492,387

6 General Dynamics (U.S.) 

Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 172; Traffic Rank: 231,512
7 BAE Systems (U.K.)
Twitter  Untitled   if_square-facebook_317727.png

 Links: 1,691; Traffic Rank: 42,206



China North Industries Group Corporation Limited (China)




Links: 224;Traffic Rank: 465,489

9 Airbus (Netherlands) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 2,968; Traffic Rank: 23,936
China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (China) 
Twitter  Untitled   if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 435; Traffic Rank: 175,706
11 China South Industries Group Corporation (China)
      Links: 2,706; Traffic Rank: 143,417
12 China Electronics Technology Group (China)   Untitled    Links: 296; Traffic Rank: 446,944
13 Leonardo (Italy) Twitter
Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 472; Traffic Rank: 180,446
14 China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (China) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 404; Traffic Rank: 467,912
15 Almaz-Antey (Russia)   Untitled    Links: 324; Traffic Rank: 586,442

Thales (France)

Twitter  Untitled   if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 1,132; Traffic Rank: 62,780
17 United Technologies  (U.S.)
Twitter  Untitled   if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 1,526; Traffic Rank: 60,075
18 L-3 Technologies (U.S.)
Twitter   Untitled   Links: 128; Traffic Rank: 167,190
19 China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (China) Twitter  Untitled     Links: 503; Traffic Rank: 370,858
20 Huntington Ingalls Industries (U.S.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 249; Traffic Rank: 280,444 
21 Leidos (U.S.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 209; Traffic Rank: 69,570
22 China State Shipbuilding Corporation (China)   Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 425; Traffic Rank: 321,706
23 Booz Allen Hamilton (U.S.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 842; Traffic Rank: 79,203
24 Rolls-Royce (U.K.)  Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 1,374; Traffic Rank: 112,351
Honeywell (U.S.)
Twitter Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png   Links: 5,164; Traffic Rank:19,968
26 Harris Corporation (U.S.) Twitter Untitled     Links: 1,095; Traffic Rank: 113,170
27 Hanwha (South Korea)
Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 166; Traffic Rank: 163,116
28 Naval Group (Previously DCNS Group) (France)
Twitter  Untitled    Links: 52; Traffic Rank: 667,858 
29 GE Aviation (U.S.)     Twitter Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 347; Traffic Rank: 145,291
30 Rheinmetall (Germany)  Twitter    if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 238; Traffic Rank: 508,569
31 Bechtel (U.S.)
Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 755; Traffic Rank: 112,332
32 Tactical Missiles Corp (Russia)
  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 238; Traffic Rank: 657,699
33 AECOM (U.S.) Twitter Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png   Links: 1,688; Traffic Rank: 40,234
34 Textron (U.S.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png   Links: 815; Traffic Rank: 144,890
35 Elbit Systems (Israel) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 406; Traffic Rank: 546,712
36 Saab (Sweden) 
Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 477; Traffic Rank: 454,365
37 CACI International (U.S.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png   Links: 415; Traffic Rank: 95,329

Dassault (France) 


Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 511; Traffic Rank: 306,949
39 Babcock International (U.K.)
  Untitled    Links: 130; Traffic Rank: 328,258
40 Perspecta (U.S.) Twitter Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Link: 54; Traffic Rank: 381,820
41 Jacobs (U.S.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 893; Traffic Rank: 52,567
42 SAIC (U.S.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 994; Traffic Rank: 124,061
Hindustan Aeronautics (India)
Twitter  Untitled    Links: 147; Traffic Rank: 88,855
44 Israel Aerospace Industries (Israel) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 524; Traffic Rank: 436,308
45 KNDS (France)   Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png   Links: 3; Traffic Rank: 6,643,021
46 Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (Israel) Twitter  Untitled    Links: 343; Traffic Rank: 481,000
47 KBR (U.S.)  Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 326; Traffic Rank: 164,901
48 ST Engineering (Singapore)   Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png    Links: 276; Traffic Rank: 335,821
49 Aerojet Rocketdyne (U.S.) Twitter  Untitled   if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 26; Traffic Rank: 1,995,308
50 Oshkosh (U.S.) Twitter Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 112; Traffic Rank: 1,637,912
51 DynCorp International (U.S.) Twitter Untitled if_square-facebook_317727.png  Link: 197; Traffic Rank: 181,601
52 Aselsan (Turkey)  Twitter Untitled if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 420; Traffic Rank: 191,916
53 Fluor (U.S.)  Twitter
Untitled if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 598; Traffic Rank: 168,321
54 Korea Aerospace Industries (South Korea)  Twitter Untitled if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 136; Traffic Rank: 983,362
55 Fincantieri (Italy)  Twitter Untitled if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 77; Traffic Rank: 253,582
56 Safran (France) 
Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png   Links: 485; Traffic Rank: 61,738
57 Cobham (U.K.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 459; Traffic Rank: 218,618
58 Sierra Nevada Corp (U.S.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 182; Traffic Rank: 395,897
59 Mantech International (U.S.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 282; Traffic Rank: 101,535
60 Melrose Industries (U.K.) Twitter  Untitled    Links: 36; Traffic Rank: 9,610,591
LIG Nex1 (South Korea) 
  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 750; Traffic Rank: 172,857
62 Transdigm (U.S.)   Untitled    Links: 33; Traffic Rank: 1,201,764
63 Hensoldt (Germany) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png
Links: 18; Traffic Rank: 752,825
64 Serco (U.K.)
Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 281; Traffic Rank: 209,223
65 Vectrus (U.S.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 43; Traffic Rank: 352,960
66 Bharat Electronics (India) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 757; Traffic Rank:  161,581
67 QinetiQ (U.K.)  Twitter Untitled if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 454; Traffic Rank: 328,545
Austal (Australia)
Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 170; Traffic Rank: 702,503
69 Turkish Aerospace Industries (Turkey) Twitter  Untitled    Links: 5; Traffic Rank: 1,100,178
70 CAE (Canada)  Twitter Untitled if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 409; Traffic Rank: 140,789
71 PAE (U.S.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 59 Traffic Rank: 347,667
72 Meggitt (U.K.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 157; Traffic Rank: 593,684
73 Curtiss-Wright (U.S.)  Twitter Untitled if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 171; Traffic Rank: 581,143
74 ViaSat (U.S.)  Twitter Untitled if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 304; Traffic Rank: 20,741 
75 Ball Aerospace & Technologies (U.S.)  Twitter Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 443; Traffic Rank: 194,432
76 Moog Inc. (U.S.)  Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 516; Traffic Rank: 201,433
77 RUAG (Switzerland)
Twitter  Untitled    Links: 572; Traffic Rank: 496,241
78 Ultra Electronics (U.K.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 75; Traffic Rank: 1,290,178
79 Day & Zimmermann (U.S.)  Twitter Untitled if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 91; Traffic Rank: 817,455
80 Kongsberg (Norway)  Twitter Untitled if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 464; Traffic Rank: 201,629
81 Indra (Spain)  Twitter Untitled if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 628; Traffic Rank: 223,587
82 Teledyne (U.S.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 223; Traffic Rank: 415,684
83 John Cockerill Defense (Belgium)    Untitled   Links: 2; Traffic Rank: 1,095,708
84 Embraer (Brazil) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 537; Traffic Rank: 163,450
85 BMC Otomotiv Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. (Turkey)
  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 144; Traffic Rank: 426,197
86 Diehl Defence Holding (Germany)  Twitter  Untitled    Links: 227;

Traffic Rank: 517,286

87 Cubic (U.S.)   Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 261; Traffic Rank: 308,900
88 Patria (Finland)  Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 92; Traffic Rank: 1,659,421
89 Roketsan
Twitter Untitled if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 199

Traffic Rank: 362,433

90 AAR (U.S.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 189; Traffic Rank: 482,480
91 Nammo (Norway)  Twitter Untitled   Links: 102; Traffic Rank: 3,697,298
92 Mercury Systems (US) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 47 Traffic Rank: 603,652
93 Hyundai Rotem Company (South Korea) 
  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 87; Traffic Rank: 409,806
94 Battelle (U.S.) Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 545; Traffic Rank: 469,705
95 Denel (South Africa)   Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 118; Traffic Rank: 1,454,415
96 Chemring (U.K.)  Twitter Untitled    Links: 65; Traffic Rank: 2,667,280
97 Telephonics (U.S.)  Twitter  Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png Links: 49

Traffic Rank: 4,039,116

98 JXTG Energy (Japan)   Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 199; Traffic Rank: 24,409
99 Itochu Enex Co. Ltd. (Japan)   Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png  Links: 65; Traffic Rank: 548,548
100 Kawasaki Heavy Industries (Japan)   Untitled  if_square-facebook_317727.png   Links: 1,021; Traffic Rank: 63,634


NOTE: Links and traffic numbers reported above are based on the Alexa Extension for Chrome in March, 2019.

Below, you can scroll through the latest real-time Tweets from the Defense News Top 100.

The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.

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