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Raytheon is the world's second largest weapons company. Raytheon is headquartered in the Boston suburb of Waltham, MA, and maintains sites in the Massachusetts cities/towns of Cambridge, Westford, Peabody, Tewksbury, Andover, Marlborough, Woburn, and Billerica.

Support for Israel

As reported by AFSC Investigate, Raytheon provides Israel with missiles compatible with Israeli F-16 fighter jets, including the AGM Maverick air-to-surface missile, the TOW missile, and the AIM-9X Sidewinder. Raytheon also produces missiles which Israel uses to arm its fleet of F-35A aircraft. Israel spends a significant portion of the billions in USD of military "aid" that the US provides it each year on Raytheon weaponry. In 2015, for example, Raytheon sold 250 AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles to Israel for $1.8 billion through US foreign military sales.

Israel has used Raytheon's missiles and bombs repeatedly in its attacks on densely populated areas in Palestine. In 2008-2009, Israel used F-16 aircraft armed with Raytheon missiles in its aerial assault on Gaza (so-called “Operation Cast Lead”), in which Israel killed 1,383 Palestinians and injured 5,300. Following this murderous aerial bombing campaign, Amnesty International found fragments of a 500-lb bomb with Raytheon markings amongst the rubble in Gaza. The Israeli military used F-16 fighter jets armed with Raytheon missiles in its 2014 aerial assault on Gaza (so-called “Operation Protective Edge”). The Israeli Navy uses Raytheon Phalanx weapon systems to enforce its ongoing naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, through which Israel deprives Gaza's nearly 2 million residents of materials necessary for constructing and maintaining basic humanitarian and civilian infrastructure (such as water purification and functioning sewage systems).

Support for the Saudi-led Siege and Blockade of Yemen

As reported by AFSC Investigate, Saudi Arabia has repeatedly used Raytheon's weaponry in its (US-backed) aerial assault on and blockade of Yemen. Weaponry Saudi Arabia and members of its coalition have used against the people of Yemen include (but are not limited to) Raytheon GBU-12 Paveway bombs and Raytheon Tomahawk cruise missiles. As one recent example, in January 2022 fragments of a laser-guide bomb produced by Raytheon were found in the rubble following a Saudi-coalition attack on a detention center in Yemen which killed at least 91 people and injured 236 more. The Saudi-led and US-backed assault on and blockade of Yemen has created conditions of starvation and an epidemic of Cholera amongst the Yemeni people.

Support for US Tracking, Detention, and Deportations of Migrants

AFSC Investigate reports that Raytheon made $45 million between 2008-2021 through its contracts with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Through these contracts, Raytheon supplied CBP with surveillance aircraft, which CBP has used to track and surveil Black and Brown migrants. Raytheon also provided CBP with SeaVue Radar Systems for CBP's maritime surveillance fleet of P-3 Orion aircraft and Predator-B drones.

Profiting from the prison-industrial complex

Raytheon supplies battlefield weapons to prisons, to be used against incarcerated people. In 2010, Raytheon provided a so-called "Assault Intervention Device" to prison north of Los Angeles (Pitchess Detention Center), which "blasts millimeter beams that simulate intense heat" and can be used by guards to "zap" inmates. Mike Booen, Vice President of Raytheon Missile Systems, explained how this weapon works to NPR:

"You know when they set their phasers to stun, they did that so they didn't kill people? Well, that's exactly what this is. It does stun you," says Mike Booen, a vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems. The company built the device for the Los Angeles County Jail, a scaled-down version of what it designed for the military.

"I don't care if you're the meanest, toughest person in the world," he says, "this will get your attention and make your brain focus on making it stop, rather than doing whatever you were planning on doing."

"It penetrates about a 64th of an inch under your skin," Booen explains. "That's about where your pain receptacles are. So it's what it would feel like if you just opened up the doors of a blast furnace. You feel this wave of heat immediately."

As described in NPR's coverage of this story, similar devices were being developed for us by US occupation forces in Afghanistan. Whether this specific design was used in Afghanistan isn't important; the crucial point is that the same companies (in this case Raytheon) simultaneously develop tools to control incarcerated people in the US and occupied people abroad, and developments used in one context inform the other. 

Support for the US Military and US Empire

Raytheon received over $26 billion through U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contracts in the year FY 2020 alone, making it the second largest recipient of money from DoD contracts that year.

Indeed, Raytheon openly acknowledges that they view military escalation worldwide as good for business. In a January 2022 interview, Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes was asked how Raytheon views "rising tension" worldwide. Hayes replied: "We are seeing, I would say, opportunities for international sales. We just have to look to last week where we saw the drone attack in the UAE, which have attacked some of their other facilities. And of course, the tensions in Eastern Europe, the tensions in the South China Sea, all of those things are putting pressure on some of the defense spending over there. So I fully expect we're going to see some benefit from it."

Whereas Hayes happily acknowledged that Raytheon stood to benefit from military escalation, other Raytheon leaders have gone even further and openly advocated for war. In 2021, Raytheon board member (and Harvard Kennedy School professor) Meghan O'Sullivan penned an article in the Washington Post entitled "It’s Wrong to Pull Troops Out of Afghanistan. But We Can Minimize the Damage.” In this article, which O'Sullivan advocated against an end to the US's military intervention in Afghanistan. As reported in the Harvard Crimson, Raytheon "has a $145 million contract to train Afghan Air Force pilots and is a major supplier of weapons to the U.S. military," and stood to lose out on profits if the US ended its military intervention in the country. O'Sullivan's author bio in the WaPo article did not initially acknowledge her position on Raytheon's board.

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