The defense industry as it is known today is a collection of separate enterprises which is comprised of both private sector and military sector organizations which focus on the research and development of military technologies to be used for the defense of the United States of America both at home and abroad. Private sector organizations involved in the development of new technologies for the military and government receive receive some of the largest funding budgets of the United States’ private industry sector.
Defense contractors are private organization that offer services, either through man power or research and development, for military advancement. These services can vary from hiring mercenary like individuals to protect assets abroad such as fuel shipments, arms shipments or bodyguard services for other private organizations. Additionally companies such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing develop technologies such as unmanned vehicles, guidance systems and stealth capabilities.
The rise of American privatized defense companies came about after World War II which compounded during the Cold War era’s arms race. During this time it was perceived that the United States best defense was by developing superior military equipment, weapons and hardware to deter enemies from attacking. Since the 1960s the private defense sector has boomed in the United States with 47 major companies producing arms or military technology for the United States government. As of a study conducted in 2010, these companies are responsible for selling approximately $235 billion in arms annually around the world.