With over 1 trillion dollars spent on military programs worldwide every year, weapon manufacturing business is not for the light-hearted. In 2008 alone, 100 biggest arms dealers had sales of 385 billion dollars, which is three times the size of the total development aid of OECD countries. To put things in an even better perspective, take it this way: the sales of the top weapons manufacturer in 2008 were greater than the gross domestic product of 105 countries.
Today, we present to you the top 10 merchants of death, err…weapon manufacturers.
No 10. Thales Group – France
Arm sales in 2008
With 63% of its total sales being military sales, Thales group is 10th largest defence contractor and the 485th largest company in the world. It is named after the greek philosopher Thames. The company generated over 12 billion Euros in revenue in 2009. Its headquarters is situated in Neuilly-sur-Seine in France.
Its major shareholders are the French state (27.0%) and Dassault Aviation (25.9%).
No 9. L-3 Communications – USA
Arms sales in 2008
L-3 was formed by the merger of 10 former Lockheed Corporation units, which it was not interested in owning during the merging with Martin Marietta.
The name L-3 comes from Frank Lanza, Robert LaPenta, and Lehman Brothers.
L-3’s customers include Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Government intelligence agencies, NASA, aerospace contractors and commercial telecommunicationsand wireless customers.