Research: Publications

Pentagon Spending in Michigan

June 15, 2015 | Report

By William D. Hartung

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Michigan ranked 24th in the country in terms of Pentagon awards during FY2014, receiving $2.6 billion. It received $298 in contract awards per capita in FY2014, which ranked 43rd among the 50 states. Comparatively, Michigan received $2.95 billion in FY2013. As Michigan’s GDP was 432.6 billion in FY2013, the most recent year for which state GDP figures are available, DoD contracts accounted for approximately .67% of Michigan’s GDP in 2013.

Although Michigan’s contracting profile may at first appear middling, an estimated 500 companies share ties to the defense industry, and Southeast Michigan is colloquially known as “the Defense Corridor” due to the involvement of local industries with the US DoD (see Appendix A2). “70% of everything a soldier shoots, drives, flies, wears, eats, or communicates with is contracted in Michigan,” claims the Michigan Defense Center. Although TARDEC and TACOM in Warren are the largest contracting agencies in the state, the largest privately-owned defense companies are those such as BAE Systems Inc. in Sterling Heights (BAE produces Bradley armored vehicles), General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights and Troy (Abrams tanks and Stryker and Buffalo vehicles), Peckham Vocational in Lansing (military apparel), Avon Protection in Cadillac (gas masks) and L-3 Communications in Muskegon (vehicle systems). When combined with the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Warren, Michigan easily holds steady a position as a mainstay in the United States defense industry.

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