Defense News releases the 2019 Top 100 list of defense companies

Written by Stephanie Gildea July 22, 2019 0 comment

VIENNA, VA., July 22, 2019 – Today, Defense News released its 2019 Top 100 list, with the biggest shakeup of the defense industry ranking in decades attributed primarily to the first ever inclusion of Chinese companies.

The addition of a few new U.S. companies to the list as well as sizable mergers also contributed to notable shifts.

Since 1991, Defense News has produced an annual report listing the top 100 global defense companies, ranking them in terms of annual defense revenue. Global defense, financial and business experts also weigh in on the trends influencing this year’s list. The Defense News Top 100 has become the go-to resource for identifying the world’s biggest defense companies.

For the third straight year, overall defense revenue for the Top 100 has increased, as defense budgets around the globe continue to climb in what has been dubbed a new era of great power competition. Total fiscal 2018 defense revenues for the Top 100 came in at $490 billion. Combined defense revenue has not come remotely close to this number since 2012.

While defense revenue continues to consistently climb, this year’s list brings huge changes, thanks in part to a first: the inclusion of eight Chinese defense firms. Chinese firms totaled almost $100 billion in defense revenue, with three companies breaking into the top 10. In addition, big shifts came as a result of merger and acquisition activity over the last year.

Geographically, 41 of the Top 100 firms are based in the United States; 32 are located in Europe (including the United Kingdom and Turkey but excluding Russia); 11 are non-Chinese firms from the Asia-Pacific region; three are from Israel; two from Russia; and Canada, Brazil and South Africa are each home to one.

This year’s list looks very different from previous editions — it provides a newfound spotlight on defense investments and demonstrates in no uncertain terms how the M&A market is redefining the industrial base.

To view the full list click here.

Defense News Deputy Editor Aaron Mehta is available to speak about the findings and can be reached at


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Stephanie Gildea
Director of Marketing