Over the last years, the global defense industry has been experiencing a substantial growth rate. It has gradually become a vital component of the economic structure of the most powerful nations in the world. Gaining a deep understanding of this sector is paramount. This book offers you an up-to-date overview of the industry by guiding you through a strategic analysis first and a financial study of the major players afterwards. A detailed Porter''s five forces analysis lays the foundation of the book. It helps identifying the characteristics of each market as well as the key success factors a firm operating in the defense industry has to be strong at. The profitability of the five biggest companies in the US – Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, and Raytheon – and the five biggest companies in the recently rising European market – EADS, BAE Systems, Thales, Finmeccanica and Rolls- Royce – has been tested with independent calculations. Financial analysis has been performed to evaluate the debt-to-equity and assess each firm''s ability to create wealth, to hold a sustainable competitive position, and to repay its shareholders.