Hawaii Defense Economy

Second largest sector of Hawaii's economy

Project Update

DBEDT has launched Phase III of its Hawaii Defense Economy project with two contracts with tech company Referentia and the Military Affairs Council (MAC) of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii. Learn more about these initiatives here.

To access and register for Referentia’s Hawaii Defense Economy Cyber Compliance Education Program’s free webinar about Department of Defense cybersecurity contracting mandates, click here.

For more information about the MAC’s Hawaii Defense Alliance and initiatives, visit www.hawaiidefensealliance.org.

Latest Hawaii Defense News

DBEDT Bolsters Hawaii's Defense Economy with New Projects

The State of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) is pleased to announce three new projects that will focus on strengthening and growing Hawaii’s second largest economic driver – the defense sector.

Pacific Shipyards International awarded $50M Navy contract

The U.S. Navy recently awarded a multi-million dollar contract to Hawaii-based Pacific Shipyards International, or PSI, to service up to three Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers.

May 3, 2021

Rep. Kai Kahele Wants New Missile Defense Radar System On Kauai — Not Oahu

The military is weighing putting a $1.9 billion defense radar on Oahu or Kauai after Hawaii’s congressional delegation thwarted a Pentagon attempt to defund the project last year.

March 21, 2021

Hawaii Wants To Form A Defense Industry Alliance For Local Buisnesses

Hawaii officials want to form a new organization to get more local businesses in on lucrative defense contracts — and to find ways to use military money to grow other sectors of the state’s economy.

February 9, 2021

Defense spending ‘incredibly important’ for Hawaii during COVID-19 pandemic

Defense spending in Hawaii — about $5 billion annually in payroll and $2 billion-plus in contracts — has been “an incredibly important stabilizing force” in the state with an economy otherwise wracked by COVID-19.

January 10, 2021

Many reasons to support Pohakuloa Training Area

The Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii and the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce fully support the U.S. military’s training mission at Pohakuloa Training Area.

November 1, 2020

Hawaii companies awarded $337M in military contracts in August

The largest was a $245 million contract shared by six companies, including four from Hawaii, for Navy construction projects over the next five years.

August 28, 2020

The Military In Hawaii

An Economic and Community Partnership

The U.S. Military is a critical part of the Hawaii community and benefits everyone in the State. Hawaii has long been recognized for its strategic importance and unique relationship with the military. Hawaii is one of the only states that is home to all branches of the military: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard and Coast Guard. The military is also present in all four of the counties across the state. Hawaii’s strategic importance is as important now as it has ever been with continued threats and instability in the Asia-Pacific region, home to more than 50% of the world’s population, several of the world’s largest militaries, and two of the three largest economies in the world. China poses a major challenge to the U.S. military’s ability to achieve and maintain wartime control of blue-water ocean areas. In addition, North Korea continues to test ballistic missiles that can reach our allies and the U.S. With the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM), which has an area of responsibility encompassing nearly half of the earth’s surface, headquartered in Honolulu, as well as other strategic and important commands, facilities and bases in the state, Hawaii clearly is vital to US interests in the region.

In addition to its strategic importance, Hawaii’s relationship with the military is a vital part of the state’s economy. From jobs for civilians and contracts for local businesses, to spending by active duty military personnel deployed in Hawaii and their families, the defense industry is the second largest industry segment in Hawaii.

Hawaii Defense Economy

A Community and Business Resource

The Hawaii Defense Economy project is focused on enhancing understanding of the economic impact of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contracts and grants awarded in the state of Hawaii.  With approximately $2 billion in total value of defense contracts in Hawaii annually, any changes in DoD spending will have an impact on the economy.. It is critical that the state proactively prepare for any changes the future may bring to Hawaii’s defense economy.

The Hawaii Defense Economy project is undertaken by the State of Hawaii, through the Department of Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism – Business Support Branch and is funded by the DoD – Office of Economic Adjustment. This project has been tasked with analyzing the impact of DoD contracts and grants awarded in Hawaii.  It does not include other types of defense spending such as payroll of military personnel.

The defense industry is a major economic driver in Hawaii and defense contracts bring billions of dollars into the state each year. This project will provide insights into the relationships between the DoD in Hawaii and companies contracted to do business performed in the state.
Governor David Ige

Data Analysis Tools

The Hawaii Defense Economy website includes the following data analysis tools that can help you gain insights into contracting trends and business opportunities.


County Spending Trends

View summary defense spending insights at the state and county level.

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Spending Explorer

This report has the most interactive filters available to explore defense spending.

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Top Products and Services

View industries with the highest total dollars and Jobs by NAICS and PSC.

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Flow from Agencies to Top Industries

Explore how money flows from DoD contracting agencies to the Top 5 industries by NAICS and PSC.

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Top Contractors

View contractors with the highest total contract awards.

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Annual Agency Flows

View spending by specific agencies over 5-years.

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Growth in Special Set Aside Categories

View year-over-year trends in the dollar value of set aside prime contracts.

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Industry Trends

View increasing or declining trends in certain industries by six-digit NAICS.

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What-If Analysis

Estimate the impact on jobs and economic output by changing spending amounts by industry (NAICS) or agency.

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Find Companies in Special Categories

Explore companies falling into certain special categories.

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Leakage Analysis

Analyze subcontract dollars flowing into and out of the state (Leakage).

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Business Map

View locations of organizations doing business with the military across Hawaii.

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Sub-Award Flow

Discover relationships between prime vendors and sub-contractors.

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