Lockheed Martin held on to its pole position as the leading supplier to the US Department of Defense in fiscal year 2004, despite contract awards slipping slightly to $20.7 billion. General Electric, however, dropped out of the DoD Top 10, sliding from eighth to 14th position as its contract awards fell to $1.8 billion from $2.8 billion in fiscal year 2003.

The largest foreign-owned supplier to the DoD, the UK's BAE Systems, edged up a rung in FY2004, to 12th place, as its DoD contract awards rose to $2.2 billion from $1.9 billion in FY2003.

The top five rankings remained unchanged from a year earlier. While second-placed Boeing also saw contract awards dip slightly in FY2004, Northrop Grumman (third), General Dynamics (fourth) and Raytheon (fifth) all received more DoD funds than a year earlier. United Technologies booked more DoD contracts, but was pushed into seventh place by Haliburton - its rapid rise fuelled by Iraq support contracts.

GE's business with the Pentagon has declined with the end of Lockheed Martin F-16 deliveries to the US Air Force, leaving the F414 for the Boeing F/A-18E/F and the T700 helicopter engine as its major DoD programmes. Business is expected to pick up later in the decade with development of growth T700 variants and the F136 alternate engine for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Source: Flight International