GD (NYSE) $183.55 July 17, 2019 04:02PM

Our History

A long history of continuous improvement

Incorporated in 1952, General Dynamics is proud of its history serving the aerospace and defense communities.

From 1952 to the 1990s, the company provided tanks, rockets, missiles, submarines, warships, fighters and electronics to all of the military services.

In the early 1990s, we sold nearly our entire portfolio except for our military-vehicle and submarine businesses. Starting in the mid-1990s, we began expanding again by acquiring Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, combat-vehicle-related businesses, IT product and service companies and additional shipyards, forming the foundation of our company today.

We continue to expand our business through organic growth and acquisitions. We focus on delivering superior products and services to our customers, and creating value for our shareholders through a relentless focus on operational excellence and continuous improvement.

Major Events that Have Shaped the Company


  • Acquired CSRA for $9.7 billion, the largest acquisition in company history, and deeply integrated the two organizations.
  • Federal Aviation Administration certification and first 10 customer deliveries of the next-generation, clean-sheet G500 aircraft.
  • Acquired Hawker Pacific, a leading provider of integrated aviation solutions across Asia Pacific and the Middle East, adding 19 locations to the Aerospace global footprint.
  • Increased the range of the G600, expected to enter service in 2019, to 5,500 nautical miles at Mach 0.9, a 700-nautical mile increase over original projections.
  • Received contracts totaling $4.8 billion for the construction of DDG-51s.


  • Received a $5.1 billion contract to complete the design and prototype development for the Columbia-class submarine.
  • Delivered the first SEPv3 Abrams tank to the U.S. Army.
  • Delivered the first ship in the DDG-51 restart program.
  • Announced an increase in the range of the G500 and G600 to 4,400 and 5,100 nautical miles, respectively, at 0.9 Mach.
  • Expanded Jet Aviation’s service network with an FBO at Washington Dulles International Airport and new FBOs in Massachusetts and Dubai.


  • Electric Boat named prime contractor for the Columbia-class submarine program and cut steel for the first hull in August.
  • Gulfstream delivered the 200th aircraft in the G650 family and the 100th G280.
  • Jet Aviation expanded its West Coast presence with the Avjet acquisition and the opening of its eighth U.S. FBO at Van Nuys Airport.
  • Mission Systems acquired UUV manufacturer Bluefin Robotics.


  • Gulfstream received the Robert J. Collier Trophy, the National Aeronautic Association’s highest award, for the G650.
  • Electric Boat ramped-up construction of two-submarines per year on the U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class submarine program.
  • NASSCO delivered six commercial ships and signed a two-ship contract with Matson, Inc.


  • Gulfstream announced three new large-cabin business-jets: the G500, the G600 and the G650 extended-range (ER).
  • Awarded largest dollar-value shipbuilding contract in U.S. Navy history, with a $17.6 billion award for the construction of 10 additional Virginia-class submarines.


  • Phebe N. Novakovic became chairman and chief executive officer.


  • The company acquired Vangent.
  • General Dynamics acquired Metro Machine Imperial Docks in 2011 and Earl Industries’ Ship Repair Division in 2012, growing our shipbuilding repair and maintenance operations on both coasts of the United States.


  • General Dynamics purchased Jet Aviation.


  • General Dynamics purchased Anteon Corporation.


  • The company purchased General Motors Defense, Veridian and Digital Systems Resources (DSR).


  • Acquired Motorola Integrated Systems and Primex Technologies.


  • The company acquired Gulfstream Aerospace and GTE Government Systems.


  • General Dynamics bought NASSCO.


  • The company bought Advanced Technology Systems from Lucent Technologies and Computing Devices International from Ceridian, and Armament Systems and Defense Systems from Lockheed Martin.


  • General Dynamics purchased Bath Iron Works.

1990 - 1994

  • With the downturn of the defense industry, the company divested many of its divisions.
  • In 1991, the company sold its Data Systems Division. In 1992, Cessna and its electronics and missile businesses were sold. In 1993, the Fort Worth aircraft production business was sold. In 1994, the company sold the Space division and the remaining Convair Aircraft Structure unit.


  • Acquired Cessna Aircraft Company.


  • Acquired Chrysler Defense which becomes General Dynamics Land Systems.


  • Canadair sold to the Canadian government.


  • The company merged with Material Service Corporation.


  • The company purchased Convair.


  • General Dynamics was formed in 1952 through the combination of the Electric Boat Company, Canadair and several others.