Three major Pentagon competitions worth around $30 billion are up for grabs in 2018 that have the potential to deliver significant boosts to the bottom line of the winning defense contractors.
Analysts say the announcement on some of the largest defense contracts may get delayed until after President Donald Trump releases his fiscal 2019 budget in early February. That budget is expected to include more money devoted to modernization and the buildup of the military.
Also, Moody's Investors Service analyst Bruce Herskovics said in a report Wednesday "contractors that have not led major platform programs will have greater opportunity to do so," given the Pentagon's push for more innovation from the defense industrial base and changes in procurement. It estimates tens of billions of dollars in contract opportunities may become available over the next five years from these "non-traditional bidders."
Indeed, Moody's said the new players are "already securing a place on important programs," including Elon Musk's SpaceX having won Air Force contracts and Kratos recently getting a contract for development of an unmanned aerial drone system aircraft.
But for 2018 there are still several large deals that have attracted interest from the larger defense primes and even some smaller companies.