United Defense has manufactured armored amphibious and land vehicles since World War II. Today, the company designs and produces combat vehicles, such as the Bradley armored infantry vehicle, naval weapons delivery systems and amphibious assault vehicles, and other weapons systems. Nearly 80 percent of the company's business—$1.2 billion in sales in 2002—is generated by the U.S. government. United Defense owns Swedish weapons manufacturer Bofors Defense, Chicago-based engineering services company Barnes & Reinecke, and FNSS, a joint venture with a Turkish defense company that produced tanks for Balkan peacekeeping missions. In 2002, United Defense acquired United States Marine Repair, a ship-repair company that depends on U.S. government agencies for 90 percent of its business.
In 1997, United Defense was purchased by the Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C., investment partnership formed in 1987... by David Rubenstein, a former aide to President Jimmy Carter; Daniel A. D'Aniello, former vice president of Finance for Marriott Inc.; and William Conway, former CFO for MCI Communications. The Group now manages more than $16 billion in investments through some 300 employees in 12 offices around the world. Investors include the government of Singapore, Kuwait Investment Authority and state pension funds of California and Florida.