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14 Dec 2023

Our Top 15 Defence Contracts of 2023

Our Top 15 Defence Contracts of 2023

This year's major defence contracts saw the entry of Poland as a major acquirer of defence assets amid the ongoing war in neighbouring Ukraine. The US naturally dominated as the primary source of contract awards, with the US Air Force leading amongst the traditional tri-service domains. Fifth-generation fighters, with their ongoing maintenance and sustainment requirements, get several mentions, whilst major IT contracts emerged in the pursuit of a more connected and integrated future force. Naval contracts were somewhat under-represented in our top contracts this year, with high expectations for 2024 with AUKUS commitments looking to become even more solidified. Peppered amongst these Top 15 contracts are weapons and defence systems proving particularly effective in Ukraine, as allies seek to learn from the frontline efforts of their Ukrainian allies.


#1 $32.5 billion - USAF awards contract for training systems to 37 industry leaders - 01.06.23

The US Air Force announced the selection of 37 companies to participate in the Training Systems Acquisition IV program, a significant contract worth $32.5 billion. This contract aims to support developing, installing, and sustaining advanced aircrew, maintenance, and system-specific training systems for global warfighter training. As the contract progresses, the collaboration between the Air Force and the awardees is expected to drive innovation and shape the future of military training systems.

Defence Engage

Source: Airforce Technology | Image Source: Defence Visual Distribution Information Service


#2 $30 billion - Pentagon purchases 398 F-35s from Lockheed - 03.01.23

The F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin signed the contract for the production and delivery of up to 398 F-35s, costing a total of £30 billion, for the US, international partners and foreign military sales. The deal with the US government covers aircraft for the USA, Belgium, Finland and Poland, and came after Lockheed missed its 2022 F-35 delivery target due to an ongoing pause in flight operations.

Defence Engage

Source: Flight Global | Image Source: Lockheed Martin


#3 $15 billion - US approves Patriot and missile defence upgrades for Poland - 28.06.23

The package included 48 launch stations and 644 PAC 3 Missile Segment Enhanced (MSE) interceptor missiles alongside network links, sensors, support equipment, spares and technical support, the Pentagon said. European interest in US weaponry has increased with demand centred around munitions, air defences, communications equipment, shoulder-fired Javelin missiles and drones which have proven critical to Ukraine's war efforts.

Defence Engage

Source: Reuters | Image Source: US Army


#4 $12.1 billion - Red River awarded Information Technology contract for US Army - 23.03.23

Red River has received a $12.1 billion contract to supply information technology (IT) enterprise solutions for the US Army. The nine-year agreement authorised the firm to provide support and services for the army and other federal government agencies. The work involves network/systems operation, maintenance, cybersecurity/information assurance, telecommunications, and business process engineering.

Defence Engage

Source: The Defense Post | Image Source: US Army


#5 $12 billion - US lawmakers to fund multi-year contracts for weapons - 03.08.23

To meet the increased US and allied requirements, the US Senate Committee on Appropriations’ bill authorised funding all weapons multi-year contracts requested by the Pentagon in its FY2024 budget proposal. It benefits eight long-term acquisition programmes of the US Air Force, Army and Navy, with a total estimated cost of nearly $12 billion. Included in the investment was provision for the purchase of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM), Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM), and more.

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Source: Shephard | Image Source: US Army


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#6 $10 billion - US approves HIMARS package for Poland - 08.02.23

The US State Department approved a sale of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers to Poland for an estimated $10 billion. The price tag included 18 HIMARS launchers, as well as 468 launcher loader module kits, which would be mounted on Polish trucks. Also included in the purchase were 45 longer-ranged M57 Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) missiles, 461 M30A2 guided multiple launch rocket system alternative warheads (GMLRS-AW), 521 M31A2 GMLR Unitary pods and 532 XM403 GMLRS extended range alternative warhead pods.

Defence Engage

Source: Defense Brief | Image Source: US Army


#7 $10 billion - Poland awards contract for 1000+ Borsuk IFVs and new heavy vehicle - 01.03.23

The Armament Agency signed a framework agreement with HSW S.A. on the delivery of Borsuk IFVs. This also includes platforms expected to be used to create specialist variants of the vehicle. This was the biggest undertaking of the Polish defence industry in 2023, and it also includes platforms expected to be used to create specialist variants of the vehicle. Also, the Polish MoD announced the planned procurement of new, heavy IFV based on K9 chassis and ZSSW turret, the latter being also used at Rosomak APC and Borsuk.

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Source: Defence24 | Image Source: Jerzy Reszczyński/ Defence24


#8 $8.7 billion - Germany goes ahead with 60 Chinook order - 06.06.23

The German Parliament's Budget Committee made an announcement confirming its decision to proceed with the acquisition of 60 CH-47F Block II Chinook helicopters. The deal is worth up to €8 billion ($8.7 billion), including associated equipment and infrastructure. A Boeing spokesperson told Shephard that the approval of the order confirms confidence in the Chinook’s battle-tested capabilities and the company.

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Source: Shephard | Image Source: Boeing


#9 $7.9 billion - Leidos awarded US Army tactical IT hardware contract - 19.09.23

Leidos was awarded a next-generation prime contract to provide the US Army with rapid procurement of information technology hardware solutions. The contract has a maximum value of $7.9 billion if all options are exercised. Leidos will enhance mission readiness through the Leidos Intelligent Logistics Platform. This will help enable better-informed, timely decision-making throughout the C5ISR and mission IT lifecycle in support of more than 120 Army, DoD and federal government program offices and agencies.

Leidos Awarded $7.9Bn US Army Tactical IT Hardware Contract

Source: Leidos | Image Source: Leidos


#10 $7.8 billion - Pentagon awards F-35 contract to Lockheed Martin - 28.04.23

The US Department of Defense awarded a $7.8 billion contract modification for 126 F-35 multi-role aircraft to weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. The modification exercises options for the production and delivery of 126 Lot 17 F-35 aircraft, to include 81 F-35A aircraft for US Air Force and its allies. The order for Pentagon's most expensive weapons system, expected to be completed in August 2026, also includes 15 F-35B aircraft for the US Marine Corps and 13 F-35C for the US Navy.

F-35 Lightning II | Lockheed Martin

Source: Reuters | Image Source: Lockheed Martin


Defence Engage Contracts Top 15 Digest


#11 $6.6 billion - Australia orders 20 C-130Js - 25.07.23

The Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF’s) transport capability will be substantially boosted by an Australian DOD order of 20 new C-130J Hercules aircraft under a AUD9.8 billion ($6.6 billion) contract. The new acquisitions will replace and expand upon the 12 Hercules aircraft currently operated by the air force with delivery of the first aircraft expected from late 2027. 

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Source: Shephard | Image Source: Australian Department of Defense


#12 $6.5 billion - Romania eyes 32 F-35s - 10.08.23

The documentation which was submitted to the Romanian parliament indicates that, following the purchase of two squadrons comprising a total of 32 aircraft, Romania would pursue an acquisition of a third squadron consisting of 16 fighter jets. Owing to the planned procurement, Romania would become the third Eastern European ally, after Poland and the Czech Republic, to operate Lockheed Martin’s fifth-generation aircraft in its fleet. Romanian officials hope the country’s military could receive the first aircraft in 2030.

Defence Engage

Source: Defense News | Image Source: Senior Master Sgt. Michael Davis/ US Air Force


#13 $5.2 billion - Pratt & Whitney awarded F135 engine production contract to support F-35’s ambitions - 07.03.23

Pratt & Whitney, a Raytheon Technologies business, was awarded a $5.2 billion contract to produce the 15th and 16th batches of F135 engines to power the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft. Under the agreement, the F-135 engines will power all three variants of the Lockheed Martin-built F-35. The company will supply 278 units of F135 engines, with an option to order up to 518 engines for the US Armed Forces and international customers. 

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Source: Airforce Technology | Image Source: US Department of Defense


#14 $5 billion - UK awards contract to build AUKUS nuclear submarines - 02.10.23

UK businesses will be behind the design and manufacture of the world’s most advanced submarines, following the awarding of £4 billion of contracts. The signing of the Detailed Design and Long Leads (D2L2) Phase with BAE Systems (BAES), Rolls-Royce and Babcock represents a significant milestone for both the UK and the trilateral AUKUS programme as a whole, in the lead up to build the future class of nuclear-powered attack submarines, known as SSN-AUKUS.

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Source: UK Government | Image Source: UK Government


#15 $4.6 billion - AM General wins contract for JLTVs - 25.05.23

The US Department of Defense (DoD) awarded AM General with a $4.6 billion contract to produce Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs), trailers, kits, and services to support production. The general-purpose JLTV can be armed with a Boeing compact laser weapon system and a Kongsberg Protector LW 30 remote weapon system with an M230LF cannon or a Samson dual-stabilised remote weapon system with M230LF gun.

Defence Engage

Source: Army Technology | Image Source: Defence Visual Distribution Information Service


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