Boeing is a major weapons developer with sites across Massachusetts. Boeing sells military aircraft, weapons, and other technologies to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, and has supported the US federal government's regime of tracking, detention, and deportation of Black and Brown migrants. In its commercial aircraft sector, Boeing has prioritized profits over consumer safety, leading to multiple crashes of its 737s which killed hundreds.
As reported by AFSC Investigate, Boeing has supplied the Israeli military with AH-64 Apache helicopters, F-15 fighter jets, Hellfire missiles (produced in collaboration with Lockheed Martin), MK-84 2000-lb bombs, MK-82 500-lb bombs, Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) kits (used to turn regular bombs into GPS-equipped guided "smart" bombs), Harpoon sea-to-sea missile system (installed on Israeli naval ships), KC-46 Tankers, as well as Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) systems equipped with DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosive) munitions which use tungsten powder to maximize the impact of bombs upon their detonation (source: "Hunt for high blast/low collateral damage weapons leads back to DIME/MBX’," Jane’s International Defense Review, 1 February 2008). Boeing has also supported the Israeli military in the development of its Arrow 3 exoatmospheric interceptor missile.
The Israeli military utilized its arsenal of Boeing aircraft and weaponry in its 2006 aerial and ground attacks on Lebanon as well as its repeated aerial assaults on the Gaza Strip (see for example here, here, and here), and the Israeli Navy uses Boeing products to enforce Israel's ongoing naval blockade of Gaza. Israeli aerial attacks on Gaza, carried out using Boeing aircraft and weapons, have killed many thousands of Palestinians and have destroyed Gaza's water, sewage, medical, and other essential civilian infrastructure, infrastructure which Palestinians are unable to rebuild as the result of the suffocating naval blockade Israel enforces against Gaza using naval weaponry purchased from Boeing.
Boeing has signed onto collaborative agreements with the Israeli weapons industry aimed at boosting the Israeli economy. Boeing's Israeli subsidiary, Boeing Israel, is currently led by Ido Nehushtan who is the former head of the Israeli Air Force. Boeing has also collaborated with Israel's largest weapons developer Elbit Systems around the marketing of Elbit's Hermes 450 and 900 Hermes Drones. Elbit Systems is infamous for using its drones extensively on captive Palestinian populations before marketing them to repressive governments worldwide as "battle proven" (read: battle proven on Palestinians) (see entry on Elbit Systems).
According to Boeing's website, "Boeing enjoys a strong and long-standing relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and has developed and expanded relationships with the Saudi civilian and defense sectors as well as with the private sectors." Boeing's website further states, "The kingdom is an important customer for Boeing military products," before proceeding to outline the extensive arsenal of aircraft and weapons Boeing has sold to Saudi Arabia, including: Saudi Arabia's F-15C/D aircraft fleet, F-15SA fighter aircraft, AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, AH-6i light attack/armed reconnaissance helicopters, Harpoon missiles and launchers, Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), E-3A AWACS aircraft, KC-3A cargo/tankers, AH-6 Little Birds, P-8 maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, and 8 CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters.
Saudi Arabia is a literal monarchy which, according to Amnesty International, regularly harrassess, tortures, and executes women's rights activists, journalists, activists, relatives of activists, and members of the country's Shia minority. Boeing's extensive military support for Saudi Arabia helps facilitate Saudi's brutal (US-backed) campaign of airstrikes and blockade against Yemen, which has precipitated conditions of mass starvation and an epidemic of Cholera amongst the Yemeni people.
Boeing has received $309.21 billion to date from US Department of Defense (DoD) contracts for the provision of products and services to the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, and other branches of the US armed forces. In 2021 alone, Boeing derived $32.4 billion from US DoD contracts, making Boeing the third largest defense contractor that year (behind only Raytheon and Lockheed Martin). Of particular note, Boeing has obtained multiple massive contracts to equip the US military with various types of aircraft, including a 2020 contract worth up to $23 billion to provide the US military with F-15EX warplanes, and a 2021 contract worth up to $23.8 billion to supply the US military's fleet of C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft.
Between 2006 and 2019, Boeing held 17 contracts with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) worth a combined $1.4 billion. As AFSC Investigate reports:
In 2005, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has launched a project attempting to secure all U.S. borders, titled the Secure Border Initiative (SBI). Its virtual fence component, SBInet, was planned as a combination of surveillance technologies relying primarily on radar and camera towers along the entire length of the border. In 2006, Boeing was awarded the contract for this entire project estimated at $2.5 billion, promising to detect 95 percent of illegal border crossings. Under SBI and SBInet, the company was awarded several long term contracts for construction, logistics, integration and support.
In its commercial aircraft sector, Boeing has prioritized its corporate profits over consumer safety. In October 2018, a Boeing 737 Max airplane operated by Lion Air crashed after departing from Indonesia, killing 189 people. Just five months later in March 2019, another Boeing 737 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed in Ethiopia, killing 157 people.
"Investigators in Indonesia, where Lion Air is based, pointed to the plane's anti-stall software, called MCAS, which a preliminary report identified as the reason the plane's nose continually pointed down out of the pilots' control, causing it to nosedive into the sea ... The design and certification of the MCAS did not adequately consider the likelihood of loss of control of the aircraft," the report said. "A fail-safe design concept and redundant system should have been necessary for the MCAS." The report also highlighted that Boeing ultimately gave MCAS more power than what it had originally told regulators, a development first reported by The Seattle Times in March. The report said this meant the US Federal Aviation Administration "would not be able to reassess the safety of the design change." ... "The absence of information about the MCAS in the aircraft manuals and pilot training made it difficult for the flight crew to diagnose problems and apply the corrective procedures," the report said.
Similarly, a report on the March 2019 crash in Ethiopia found Boeing responsible for the tragedy and excoriated Boeing for corporate malfeasance. A recent Netflix documentary entitled "Downfall: The Case Against Boeing," highlights Boeing's culpability for both crashes. A review of the documentary explains in summary:
Boeing had placed pilots in the impossible position of having 10 seconds to override a system they hadn’t known existed and weren’t told was aboard, let alone taught to operate. MCAS wasn’t mentioned in the plane’s pilot or flight deck manuals. Boeing had even pushed back on those who’d requested flight simulator training before flying the new jet, conspiring to mislead the Federal Aviation Administration about the system’s significance and get their best-selling jet cleared for takeoff. Investigators eventually uncovered message exchanges between Boeing employees in which they insulted regulators and discussed playing “Jedi mind tricks” on them. It’s all abhorrent, blood-boiling stuff—and all motivated, of course, by a desire to drive up Boeing’s stock price.
Based in Chicago Illinois, Boeing maintains numerous branches and subsidiary sites across the state of Massachusetts, including in: Lexington, Concord, Tewksbury (branch of subsidiary Aviall Services Inc), Cambridge (branch of subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences Corp), North Billerica (branch of subsidiary Boeing Distribution Services Defense Llc), Northborough (branch of subsidiary Ltp Corporation), and Fitchburg (branch of subsidiary Ltp Corporation).