Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Firebird, seen from the back, shows off its rear-mounted propeller and its unique tail configuration.

Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Firebird, seen from the back, shows off its rear-mounted propeller and its unique tail configuration.

NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP.

CEO: Wes Bush.

Revenue: $34.8 billion in 2010; $33.8 billion in 2009.

Net income: $2.05 billion in 2010; $1.69 billion in 2009.

No. of local employees: 4,250.

Headquarters: Los Angeles.

Year founded: 1939, as Northrop Aircraft Co.

Stock symbol and exchange: NOC on the New York Stock Exchange.

Company description: Defense contractor specializing in aerospace, electronics, information systems and technical services.

Key factors for success: Access to resources as a Fortune 100 corporation; acquisition of unmanned aircraft builder Teledyne Ryan in 1999.

GENERAL ATOMICS AERONAUTICAL SYSTEMS INC.

CEO: Neal Blue.

Revenue: Undisclosed.

No. of local employees: 5,000.

Investors: Owned by the Blue family and an affiliate of General Atomics.

Headquarters: Poway.

Year founded: 1993.

Company description: Maker of unmanned aircraft and sensors.

Key factors for success: Private ownership, which makes the company flexible and discreet; it has an ability to predict what the customer will want.

Poway-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc...

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