The 10 Most Popular Military Aircraft -- That Aren't Fighter Jets

Which country makes the world's top three military transports? Is it Russia or the U.S. of A? Take a click-tour through our slideshow and find out.

Jun 21, 2014 at 12:02PM

Fighter jocks get all the glory.

Last week, we introduced you to the 10 most popular fighter jets in the world -- and to the companies that build them and the stocks that profit from selling them.

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Lockheed Martin's C-130 Hercules isn't a fighter jet -- but it's still pretty impressive. Photo: U.S. Air Force

Why focus on fighter jets? Mainly because everybody loves to read about them. Heck, everybody loves to go to movies about them. (Remember Tom Cruise, grinning from the cockpit of an F-14 Tomcat in "Top Gun"?) But believe it or not, a company's non-fighter jet products may be more rewarding for investors.

Take the C-130 for example. Since 1954, Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) has built and sold nearly 2,500 C-130 Hercules transports. At an average cost of $30 million per unit, each one generated nearly as much revenue for Lockheed, as the $38 million F-14 did for its builder, Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC).

And Lockheed sold three times as many C-130s as Northrop sold F-14s.

Which other companies are making big money from selling glorified cargo jets to the military? Take a click-tour of the world's most popular military transports in the slideshow below -- and check out our special free report at the end.

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Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Textron. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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