Revenues for the Top 100 defense companies declined for the fifth year in a row. But, industry revenues are poised to bounce back soon.
According to Defense News, defense revenues were down more than 7 percent from the previous year. The top 25 companies accounted for 73 percent of total defense revenues and the top 10 firms accounted for 54 percent of total revenues.
The 41 US firms continued to dominate with 60 percent of revenues (up from 54 percent the prior year). Europe has 27 companies on the list and Asia-Pacific has 17 companies represented.
Click here to watch an on-demand webinar about the Top 100 Defense Companies led by Defense News Executive Editor Jill Aitoro with a panel of industry experts. (Registration required.)
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 recent 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.
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 2016.
2016 Defense News Top 100
- Lockheed Martin (U.S.) Links: 5,261; Traffic Rank: 47,179
- Boeing (U.S.) Links: 8,212; Traffic Rank: 18,343
- BAE Systems (U.K.) Links: 2,763; Traffic Rank: 59,284
- Raytheon (U.S.) Links: 2,916; Traffic Rank: 34,339
- General Dynamics (U.S.) Links: 779; Traffic Rank: 290,434
- Northrop Grumman (U.S.) Links: 2770; Traffic Rank: 62,322
- Airbus Group (Netherlands) Links: 3,832; Traffic Rank: 31,838
- Leonardo Spa (Italy) Links: 518; Traffic Rank: 133,691
- L-3 Communications (U.S.) Links: 104; Traffic Rank: 241,489
- Thales (France) Links: 1,575; Traffic Rank: 64,500
- Almaz-Antey (Russia) Links: 411; Traffic Rank: 884,300
- Huntington Ingalls (U.S.) Links: 437; Traffic Rank: 246,137
- United Technologies Corp (U.S.) Links: 1,791; Traffic Rank: 44,341
- Rolls-Royce (U.K.) Links: 2,083; Traffic Rank: 82,073
- Honeywell (U.S.) Links: 7,942; Traffic Rank: 18,071
- United Aircraft Corp (Russia) Links: 531; Traffic Rank: 590,835
- Harris (U.S.) Links: 1,435; Traffic Rank: 84,007
- Textron (U.S.) Links: 1,072; Traffic Rank: 113,869
- GE Aviation (U.S.) Links: 701; Traffic Rank: 207,215
- Babcock International (U.K.) Links: 202; Traffic Rank: 263,983
- Safran (France) Links: 778; Traffic Rank: 143,303
- DCNS Group (France) Links: No Data; Traffic Rank: 1,497,918
- Leidos (U.S.) Links: 392; Traffic Rank: 46,830
- Bechtel (U.S.) Links: 1,152; Traffic Rank: 80,159
- Russian Helicopters (Russia) Links: 95; Traffic Rank: 5,692,356
- Elbit Systems (Israel) Links: 5,261; Traffic Rank: 47,179
- Rheinmetall (Germany) Links: 436; Traffic Rank: 325,279
- SAIC (U.S.) Links: 1,357; Traffic Rank: 96,977
- Israel Aerospace Industries (Israel) Links: 654; Traffic Rank: 387,814
- Orbital ATK (U.S.) Links: 319; Traffic Rank: 118,297
- AECOM (U.S.) Links: 2,802; Traffic Rank: 24,891
- Saab (Sweden) Links: 828; Traffic Rank: 337,595
- Booz Allen Hamilton (U.S.) Links: 1,494; Traffic Rank: 118,252
- KNDS (Netherlands) Links: 221; Traffic Rank: 696,955
- Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (India) Links: 1,174; Traffic Rank: 55,848
- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Japan) Links: 47; Traffic Rank: 198,393
- Tactical Missiles Corp (Russia) Links: 313; Traffic Rank: 999,548
- Hanwha (South Korea) Links: 211; Traffic Rank: 257,559
- CACI International (U.S.) Links: 508; Traffic Rank: 67,153
- Rockwell Collins (U.S.) Links: 886; Traffic Rank: 68,732
- Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (Israel) Links: 512; Traffic Rank: 474,820
- Cobham (U.K.) Links: 674; Traffic Rank: 189,771
- Dassault Aviation (France) Links: 683; Traffic Rank: 300,132
- Kawasaki Heavy Industries (Japan) Links: 1,523; Traffic Rank: 38,363
- Aerojet Rocketdyne (U.S.) Links: 58; Traffic Rank: 2,873,613
- CSRA (U.S.) Links: 135; Traffic Rank: 122,342
- Korea Aerospace Industries (South Korea) Links: 159; Traffic Rank: 880,967
- CSC (U.S.) Links: 232; Traffic Rank: 47,247
- ST Engineering (Singapore) Link: 435; Traffic Rank: 297,218
- Serco (U.K.) Links: 173; Traffic Rank: 541,674
- LIG Nex1 (South Korea) Links: 77; Traffic Rank: 1,478,739
- Mantech (U.S.) Links: 354; Traffic Rank: 136,302
- DynCorp (U.S.) Links: 281; Traffic Rank: 181,313
- Nexter (France) Links: 221; Traffic Rank: 756,336
- Vectrus (U.S.) Links: 44; Traffic Rank: 430,988
- Fincantieri (Italy) Links: 110; Traffic Rank: 647,723
- Accenture (Ireland) Links: 6,491; Traffic Rank: 2,630
- Aselsan (Turkey) Links: 462; Traffic Rank: 211,590
- Fluor (U.S.) Links: 999; Traffic Rank: 117,969
- UralVagonZavod (Russia) Links: 83; Traffic Rank: 1,339,152
- Bharat Electronics (India) Links: 1,336; Traffic Rank: 33,623
- GKN Aerospace (U.K.) Links: 691; Traffic Rank: 170,207
- Ultra Electronics (U.K.) Links 151; Traffic Rank: 1,065,123
- Oshkosh (U.S.) Links: 214; Traffic Rank: 566,431
- PAE (U.S.) Links: 89; Traffic Rank: 137,638
- NEC (Japan) Links: 5,086; Traffic Rank: 17,607
- Austal (Australia) Links: 224; Traffic Rank: 1,091,469
- UkrOboronProm (Ukraine) Links: 672; Traffic Rank: 681,689
- QinetiQ (U.K.) Links: 597; Traffic Rank: 469,462
- Kongsberg (Norway) Links: 685; Traffic Rank: 173,837
- Engility Corp (U.S.) Links: 191; Traffic Rank: 366,812
- Turkish Aerospace Industries (Turkey) Links: 177; Traffic Rank: 347,722
- Vencore (U.S.) Links: 90; Traffic Rank: 280,910
- Meggitt (U.K.) Links: 212; Traffic Rank: 603,159
- Cubic (U.S.) Links: 401; Traffic Rank: 193,623
- Moog (U.S.) Links: 634; Traffic Rank: 159,981
- ANA Holdings (Japan) Links: 5,471; Traffic Rank: 1,999
- RUAG (Switzerland) Links: 494; Traffic Rank: 451,907
- Embraer (Brazil) Links: 751; Traffic Rank: 349, 576
- Curtiss-Wright (U.S.) Links: 245; Traffic Rank: 743, 704
- Mitsubishi Electric (Japan) Links: 1,922; Traffic Rank: 48,444
- CAE (Canada) Links: 588; Traffic Rank: 198,600
- RTI Sistema (Russia) Links: 124; Traffic Rank: 1,257,703
- ViaSat (U.S.) Links: 414; Traffic Rank: 50,934
- Indra (Spain) Links: 1,055; Traffic Rank: 187,033
- AAR (U.S.) Links: 274; Traffic Rank: 809,459
- Ball Aerospace & Technologies (U.S.) Links: 610; Traffic Rank: 191,117
- IHI Corp (Japan) Links: 777; Traffic Rank: 149,245
- Day & Zimmermann (U.S.) Links: 139; Traffic Rank: 502,714
- Israel Military Industries (Israel) Links: 33; Traffic Rank: 866,114
- Toshiba (Japan) Links: 5,086; Traffic Rank: 14,981
- Chemring (U.K.) Links: 76; Traffic Rank: 2,594,231
- Battelle (U.S.) Links: 984; Traffic Rank: 231,234
- Diehl Defence Group (Germany) Links: 427; Traffic Rank: 207,132
- Fujitsu (Japan) Links: 13,395; Traffic Rank: 3,969
- Patria (Finland) Links: 157; Traffic Rank: 1,420,991
- Denel (South Africa) Links: 178; Traffic Rank: 703,637
- Telephonics (U.S.) Links: 79; Traffic Rank: 707,643
- Nammo (Norway) Links: 114; Traffic Rank: 1,272,813
- Komatsu Ltd. (Japan) Links: 311; Traffic Rank: 461,505
NOTE: Links and traffic numbers reported above are based on the Alexa Extension for Chrome in July, 2017.
Below, you can scroll through the latest real-time Tweets from the Defense News Top 100.