Some of the Washington area’s biggest defense contractors are making more money than ever from classified military and intelligence programs, top executives told investors this week, as competition with China and Russia drives a wave of secret spending one analyst called “unprecedented in recent history.”
Executives from Northrop Grumman and Raytheon reported double-digit growth in classified defense business over the past year.
Northrop Grumman chief executive Kathy Warden told analysts that “restricted” work, a term that refers to classified programs, saw a double-digit increase over 2018. It now accounts for more than a quarter of the company’s $33.8 billion in 2019 sales, she said.
She attributed the change to a shift in the agencies’ buying priorities.
“Our customers are increasingly focused on rapidly evolving multi-domain peer threats in areas like space, hypersonics and missile defense,” Warden said in a call with investors. “Our growing share of restricted work demonstrates that our customers are turning to Northrop Grumman for these capabilities.” (end of excerpt)
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