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General Dynamics Corporation  (GD)
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    Sector  Capital Goods    Industry Aerospace & Defense
   Industry Aerospace & Defense
   Sector  Capital Goods

General Dynamics Corporation

Business Description


General Dynamics is a market leader in mission-critical information systems and technologies; land and expeditionary combat vehicles, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and business aviation.


Formed in 1952 through the combination of Electric Boat Company, Consolidated Vultee and other entities, the company grew through internal development and acquisitions but was largely dismantled in the early 1990s through the sale of all of its divisions except Electric Boat and Land Systems. The company’s present composition is the result of a series of acquisitions begun in 1995. At that time, General Dynamics began an expansion of its two core defense businesses, broadening its product lines through the acquisition of other shipyards and combat vehicle-related entities. The company also added information technology products and services, particularly in the command-and-control, communications, computing, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) area, and business-jet aircraft and aviation support services to its offerings.

General Dynamics is organized into four primary business groups: Information Systems and Technology, Combat Systems, Marine Systems and Aerospace. These groups design, develop, manufacture and support leading-edge technology, products and services for use across the spectrum of military operations. From nuclear submarines to Stryker armored infantry carriers, ammunition to targeting systems, tactical Personal Digital Assistants to combat search-and-rescue radios, General Dynamics supports the combat warrior on land, at sea, in the air and on the network. The company’s Gulfstream business-jet aircraft serve business travelers around the world, as well as government customers as special mission platforms for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and transport.


In addition to the four principal business groups, a small Resources group provides construction aggregates and operates coal mines.


COMPETITION

The company’s ability to compete successfully depends on the technical excellence and reliability of its products and services, its reputation for integrating complex systems, its leadership team’s successful management of the company’s businesses and customer relationships, and the cost competitiveness of its products and services. The company competes in two separate markets: defense and business-jet aircraft.

DEFENSE MARKET
The defense market is served by numerous domestic and foreign companies that offer a range of products and services and compete with the company for many of its contracts. On occasion, the company is involved in subcontracting relationships with some of these competitors. The key competitive factors in this market are technological innovation, low-cost production, performance and market knowledge.
The Information Systems and Technology group competes with a broad range of entities, from large defense companies to smaller niche competitors with specialized technologies. The Combat Systems group competes in a market composed primarily of large domestic and foreign entities. The company partners with some of these entities from time to time, and currently is in a teaming arrangement with another U.S. defense contractor on the manned vehicle portion of the FCS program. The Marine Systems group operates in a market with only one other primary competitor, Northrop Grumman Corporation; the company is also teamed with that competitor on several programs, including the Virginia-class submarine construction contract. The Navy’s LCS program has increased competition to now include other large aerospace companies seeking opportunities as shipbuilding prime contractors.

BUSINESS-JET AIRCRAFT MARKET
Competition in the business-jet aircraft market generally is divided into segments based on the cabin size, range and price of the aircraft.

CUSTOMERS

The company’s primary customer is the U.S. government, particularly the Department of Defense.





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