Thales, Leonardo, Airbus lead rankings in European Defence Fund grants, Science|Business finds

30 Apr 2024 | News

As budgets rise for defence spending, our analysis of awards by EU defence R&D agency shows top three companies winning 21% so far. Among public agencies, Fraunhofer comes first

Photo credits: European Commission / European Union

A new ranking compiled by Science|Business shows three big multinationals – Thales, Leonardo and Airbus – have been winning the lion’s share of research and technology development grants from the European Defence Fund.

Since 2021, Thales of France has been the biggest winner of the agency’s grants, collecting €121 million for its participation in 70 projects – including €30 million for its Thales SIX GTS France unit specialised in communications and transport security. Italian defence contractor Leonardo ranks second, with €114 million in EDF grants. Third is aerospace giant Airbus, with €95 million.

The Science|Business analysis of grant awards published on EDF’s website shows that, altogether, those three companies have won 21% of the agency’s awards since 2021 – a powerful demonstration of their position in the European defence marketplace.