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:
- 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.
- 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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
The F-35 program and cost is out of control. Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2016
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.
The CEO of Boeing says he welcomes Donald Trump’s Twitter ‘engagement’ with US business https://t.co/VWZmkCaukL— Financial Times (@FT) January 25, 2017
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.
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:
Now onto the good stuff. The companies listed below are based on the Defense News Top 100 2019.
|1||Lockheed Martin (U.S.)||
Links: 3,362; Traffic Rank: 51,099
Links: 6,200; Traffic Rank: 18,546
Northrop Grumman (U.S.)
Links: 2,059; Traffic Rank: 58,497
|4||Raytheon Company (U.S.)
Links: 2,478; Traffic Rank: 51,685
|5||Aviation Industry Corporation of China (China)||
Links: 201; Traffic Rank: 492,387
|6||General Dynamics (U.S.)
||Links: 172; Traffic Rank: 231,512|
|7||BAE Systems (U.K.)
Links: 1,691; Traffic Rank: 42,206
Links: 224;Traffic Rank: 465,489
|9||Airbus (Netherlands)||Links: 2,968; Traffic Rank: 23,936|
China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (China)
|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)||Links: 296; Traffic Rank: 446,944|
|13||Leonardo (Italy)||Links: 472; Traffic Rank: 180,446|
|14||China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (China)||Links: 404; Traffic Rank: 467,912|
|15||Almaz-Antey (Russia)||Links: 324; Traffic Rank: 586,442|
|Links: 1,132; Traffic Rank: 62,780|
|17||United Technologies (U.S.)
||Links: 1,526; Traffic Rank: 60,075|
|18||L-3 Technologies (U.S.)
||Links: 128; Traffic Rank: 167,190|
|19||China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (China)||Links: 503; Traffic Rank: 370,858|
|20||Huntington Ingalls Industries (U.S.)||Links: 249; Traffic Rank: 280,444|
|21||Leidos (U.S.)||Links: 209; Traffic Rank: 69,570|
|22||China State Shipbuilding Corporation (China)||Links: 425; Traffic Rank: 321,706|
|23||Booz Allen Hamilton (U.S.)||Links: 842; Traffic Rank: 79,203|
|24||Rolls-Royce (U.K.)||Links: 1,374; Traffic Rank: 112,351|
|Links: 5,164; Traffic Rank:19,968|
|26||Harris Corporation (U.S.)||Links: 1,095; Traffic Rank: 113,170|
|27||Hanwha (South Korea)
||Links: 166; Traffic Rank: 163,116|
|28||Naval Group (Previously DCNS Group) (France)
||Links: 52; Traffic Rank: 667,858|
|29||GE Aviation (U.S.)||Links: 347; Traffic Rank: 145,291|
|30||Rheinmetall (Germany)||Links: 238; Traffic Rank: 508,569|
||Links: 755; Traffic Rank: 112,332|
|32||Tactical Missiles Corp (Russia)
||Links: 238; Traffic Rank: 657,699|
|33||AECOM (U.S.)||Links: 1,688; Traffic Rank: 40,234|
|34||Textron (U.S.)||Links: 815; Traffic Rank: 144,890|
|35||Elbit Systems (Israel)||Links: 406; Traffic Rank: 546,712|
||Links: 477; Traffic Rank: 454,365|
|37||CACI International (U.S.)||Links: 415; Traffic Rank: 95,329|
|Links: 511; Traffic Rank: 306,949|
|39||Babcock International (U.K.)
||Links: 130; Traffic Rank: 328,258|
|40||Perspecta (U.S.)||Link: 54; Traffic Rank: 381,820|
|41||Jacobs (U.S.)||Links: 893; Traffic Rank: 52,567|
|42||SAIC (U.S.)||Links: 994; Traffic Rank: 124,061|
Hindustan Aeronautics (India)
|Links: 147; Traffic Rank: 88,855|
|44||Israel Aerospace Industries (Israel)||Links: 524; Traffic Rank: 436,308|
|45||KNDS (France)||Links: 3; Traffic Rank: 6,643,021|
|46||Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (Israel)||Links: 343; Traffic Rank: 481,000|
|47||KBR (U.S.)||Links: 326; Traffic Rank: 164,901|
|48||ST Engineering (Singapore)||Links: 276; Traffic Rank: 335,821|
|49||Aerojet Rocketdyne (U.S.)||Links: 26; Traffic Rank: 1,995,308|
|50||Oshkosh (U.S.)||Links: 112; Traffic Rank: 1,637,912|
|51||DynCorp International (U.S.)||Link: 197; Traffic Rank: 181,601|
|52||Aselsan (Turkey)||Links: 420; Traffic Rank: 191,916|
|53||Fluor (U.S.)||Links: 598; Traffic Rank: 168,321|
|54||Korea Aerospace Industries (South Korea)||Links: 136; Traffic Rank: 983,362|
|55||Fincantieri (Italy)||Links: 77; Traffic Rank: 253,582|
||Links: 485; Traffic Rank: 61,738|
|57||Cobham (U.K.)||Links: 459; Traffic Rank: 218,618|
|58||Sierra Nevada Corp (U.S.)||Links: 182; Traffic Rank: 395,897|
|59||Mantech International (U.S.)||Links: 282; Traffic Rank: 101,535|
|60||Melrose Industries (U.K.)||Links: 36; Traffic Rank: 9,610,591|
LIG Nex1 (South Korea)
|Links: 750; Traffic Rank: 172,857|
|62||Transdigm (U.S.)||Links: 33; Traffic Rank: 1,201,764|
|63||Hensoldt (Germany)||Links: 18; Traffic Rank: 752,825|
||Links: 281; Traffic Rank: 209,223|
|65||Vectrus (U.S.)||Links: 43; Traffic Rank: 352,960|
|66||Bharat Electronics (India)||Links: 757; Traffic Rank: 161,581|
|67||QinetiQ (U.K.)||Links: 454; Traffic Rank: 328,545|
|Links: 170; Traffic Rank: 702,503|
|69||Turkish Aerospace Industries (Turkey)||Links: 5; Traffic Rank: 1,100,178|
|70||CAE (Canada)||Links: 409; Traffic Rank: 140,789|
|71||PAE (U.S.)||Links: 59 Traffic Rank: 347,667|
|72||Meggitt (U.K.)||Links: 157; Traffic Rank: 593,684|
|73||Curtiss-Wright (U.S.)||Links: 171; Traffic Rank: 581,143|
|74||ViaSat (U.S.)||Links: 304; Traffic Rank: 20,741|
|75||Ball Aerospace & Technologies (U.S.)||Links: 443; Traffic Rank: 194,432|
|76||Moog Inc. (U.S.)||Links: 516; Traffic Rank: 201,433|
||Links: 572; Traffic Rank: 496,241|
|78||Ultra Electronics (U.K.)||Links: 75; Traffic Rank: 1,290,178|
|79||Day & Zimmermann (U.S.)||Links: 91; Traffic Rank: 817,455|
|80||Kongsberg (Norway)||Links: 464; Traffic Rank: 201,629|
|81||Indra (Spain)||Links: 628; Traffic Rank: 223,587|
|82||Teledyne (U.S.)||Links: 223; Traffic Rank: 415,684|
|83||John Cockerill Defense (Belgium)||Links: 2; Traffic Rank: 1,095,708|
|84||Embraer (Brazil)||Links: 537; Traffic Rank: 163,450|
|85||BMC Otomotiv Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. (Turkey)
||Links: 144; Traffic Rank: 426,197|
|86||Diehl Defence Holding (Germany)||Links: 227;
Traffic Rank: 517,286
|87||Cubic (U.S.)||Links: 261; Traffic Rank: 308,900|
|88||Patria (Finland)||Links: 92; Traffic Rank: 1,659,421|
Traffic Rank: 362,433
|90||AAR (U.S.)||Links: 189; Traffic Rank: 482,480|
|91||Nammo (Norway)||Links: 102; Traffic Rank: 3,697,298|
|92||Mercury Systems (US)||Links: 47 Traffic Rank: 603,652|
|93||Hyundai Rotem Company (South Korea)
||Links: 87; Traffic Rank: 409,806|
|94||Battelle (U.S.)||Links: 545; Traffic Rank: 469,705|
|95||Denel (South Africa)||Links: 118; Traffic Rank: 1,454,415|
|96||Chemring (U.K.)||Links: 65; Traffic Rank: 2,667,280|
|97||Telephonics (U.S.)||Links: 49
Traffic Rank: 4,039,116
|98||JXTG Energy (Japan)||Links: 199; Traffic Rank: 24,409|
|99||Itochu Enex Co. Ltd. (Japan)||Links: 65; Traffic Rank: 548,548|
|100||Kawasaki Heavy Industries (Japan)||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.