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War is big business, unfortunately though. Threats, or actual war itself witness countries engaging in the business of buying arms. Even in peace times, nations look to upgrade their defense forces and weapons and here are the top 20 arms producing companies that are supplying many nations around the world some of their best and jaw-dropping products.
Of the top 20 arms producing countries in terms of sales, 11 are located in the United States. According to the SIPRI Arms Industry Database, Lockheed Martin is the leading arms producer in the world. The company, which is known for its highly advanced products and is currently producing F-35 Lightning II, a stealth multirole fighter, witnessed a staggering US$36,440 million arms sales in 2015.
Boeing, another American company, was the second biggest arms producer in 2015. The company, which is headquartered in Chicago, manufactures, designs and sells airplanes, satellites, rockets and rotor craft around the world. The world’s second-largest defense contractor, Boeing recorded US$27,960 millions in sales in 2015.
BAE Systems of the United Kingdom stood at the third spot with US$25,510 million in sales in 2015.
Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, Raytheon recorded US$21,780 million in sales, making it the fourth biggest arms producer in the world. Raytheon is the largest producer in the world of guided missiles.
Northrop Grumman Corporation and General Dynamics Corporation, which are both headquartered in Virginia, the United States, were the fifth and sixth biggest arms producers, respectively, with recorded sales of US$20,060 million and US$19,240 million of arms sales.
The seventh spot was occupied by the Netherlands-based Airbus Group. In 2015, the company witnessed sales of US$12,860 million.
Placed at the eight spot was Arlington-based BAE Systems. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British defense and aerospace company BAE Systems plc; however, it is controlled at a local level by the American management. In 2015, the company recorded sales of US$9,670 million.
Placed at the ninth and tenth spots were United Technologies Corporation, based in Farmington, Connecticut; and Finmeccanica, in Rome, Italy.
Some companies that were placed between the 11th and 20th ranks in terms of sales included Rolls-Royce, Thales, United Aircraft Corporation, and Safran, to name a few.
The table provides information about the sales figures of each of the top 20 arms producing companies in 2015.
|Company||Headquarters||Country||Arms Sales million (US$) (2015)|
|Lockheed Martin Corp.||Bethesda, Maryland||United States||36,440|
|Boeing||Chicago, Illinois||United States||27,960|
|BAE Systems||London & Farnborough||United Kingdom||25,510|
|Raytheon||Waltham, Massachusetts||United States||21,780|
|Northrop Grumman Corp.||2980 Fairview Park Drive, West Falls Church, Virginia||United States||20,060|
|General Dynamics Corp.||West Falls Church, Virginia||United States||19,240|
|Airbus Group||Leiden, Netherlands (headquarters) Blagnac, France (main office)||Trans-European||12,860|
|BAE Systems Inc. (BAE Systems, UK)||Arlington, Virginia||United States||9,670|
|United Technologies Corp.||Farmington, Connecticut||United States||9,500|
|L-3 Communications||New York City, New York||United States||8,770|
|Huntington Ingalls Industries||Newport News, Virginia||United States||6,740|
|Almaz-Antey||41 Vereyskaya str. Moscow||Russia||6,620|
|Harris Corp.||Melbourne, Florida||United States||4,920|
|Rolls-Royce||Derby, England||United Kingdom||4,790|
|United Aircraft Corp.||Moscow||Russia||4,610|
|Bechtel Corp.||Blue Shield of California Building, San Francisco, California||United States||4,600|
|United Shipbuilding Corp.||Moscow and Saint Petersburg||Russia||4,510|
(Data sourced from SIPRI Arms Industry Database)