One of the largest military companies in the world and the largest producer of guided missiles. Makes missile systems and munitions used against civilians in Palestine and Yemen. Its equipment is used to monitor the US-Mexico border.
Raytheon is a U.S.-based company headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. As of 2018, Raytheon is the world’s second largest military company and the largest producer of guided missiles. Raytheon specializes in air and missile defense systems, cybersecurity and surveillance, and missile systems. Its total revenue in 2017 was $25.3 billion. 32 percent of the company’s total net sales are international, almost half of which are through the U.S. government Foreign Military Sales program. 17 percent of Raytheon’s sales are classified. Though Raytheon primarily manufactures military systems, the company also develops products for the civilian market, including air traffic management solutions, tools for data collection and analytics, and cybersecurity training ranges. Raytheon developed electronic tolling systems for highways around the world, including in Chile, Israel, and several U.S. states. In 2020, the company is expected to merge with defense giant United Technologies to form the world's 2nd largest aerospace and defense company.
Military Sales to Israel
Over the last decade, Raytheon has participated in contracts worth over $4 billion to supply Israel with weapons. Raytheon has sold several missiles to Israel that are compatible with the launching systems of the F-16 fighter jet, including the AGM Maverick air-to-surface missile, the TOW missile, and the AIM-9X Sidewinder. For example, in 2014 Raytheon sold Israel 600 AIM-9X Sidewinder Missiles worth $544 million through the U.S. foreign military sales program. Raytheon has continued to provide maintenance and technical support for the missiles as of 2017. The company has also provided Israel with the TOW missile and the Phalanx CIWS, a weapon system installed in the Israeli Navy's upgraded 4.5 Sa’ar missile ship.
Raytheon produces a variety of missiles to arm Lockheed Martin’s F-35A aircraft, of which Israel has bought 33 as of 2018. The missiles include the AIM-120 AMRAAM missile, Paveway-guided bombs, and Sidewinder missiles. In addition, Raytheon has equipped the F-35 aircraft with a landing system and the Joint Miniature Munitions Bomb Rack Unit, which allows the aircraft to carry more weapons. In 2018, Lockheed Martin selected Raytheon to manufacture the Distributed Aperture System of future F-35 planes, which gives pilots a 360° view of the outside of the aircraft. Raytheon has also provided the Israeli Air Force with electronic radar systems for its F-15 aircraft fleet.
In 2015, Raytheon sold 250 AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles to Israel through U.S. foreign military sales for $1.8 billion. According to the Israeli Air Force, Israeli F-16s are armed with AIM-120 missiles. The $1.8 billion contract with Israel included hundreds of Paveway kits, which convert traditional “dumb” bombs to precision-guided “smart” bombs, although it is unclear whether Raytheon or Lockheed Martin manufactured the kits. Raytheon also sold Israel GBU-28 “bunker buster” bombs, designed to penetrate to targets deep underground, in 2009 and 2005.
Raytheon has helped provide Israel with anti-missile defense systems such as the Patriot system, the Iron Dome, and David’s Sling. Raytheon also produces the firing units of the David’s Sling system. Raytheon has continued to provide engineering support for the Patriot as of 2018.
Collaboration with the Israeli Military Industry
Raytheon has collaborated with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, an Israeli state-owned military company, to create the Stunner Terminal Missile Defense Interceptor, which is the medium-range guided missile of the David’s Sling system. According to John Patterson, the public relations director for Raytheon Missile Systems, Raytheon maintains an “excellent working relationship” with Rafael.
Raytheon has collaborated with IMI Systems, an Israeli military company previously state-owned and now a subsidiary of Elbit Systems, to develop 120mm GPS-guided precision mortars in 2008. In 2009, Raytheon and IMI Systems manufactured a similar system, known as the Dagger, that the two companies jointly marketed to the U.S. military.
Raytheon has a facility located in Ra’anana, Israel through the cybersecurity company Forcepoint, a joint venture with Vista Equity Partners.
Weapons Used in Attacks on Civilians in Palestine
Raytheon missiles and bombs have been used repeatedly in Israeli attacks on densely populated civilian areas, resulting in thousands of civilian casualties in the West Bank and Gaza. The human rights community, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, B’Tselem, and United Nations commissions, has ruled these attacks to be human rights violations, collective punishment, and at times war crimes.
In 2008-2009, Israel used F-16 aircraft armed with Raytheon missiles, to launch an assault on Gaza (“Operation Cast Lead”) that killed 1,383 Palestinians, of whom 333 were children, and injured another 5,300 people. Amnesty International also found fragments of a 500-lb bomb dropped in Gaza in 2009 with Raytheon markings, the sale of which they were able to trace back to a U.S. government contract. Pieces of Raytheon-made TOW missiles were found in Gaza that same year. It is also likely that Israel used Raytheon GBU-28 bunker buster bombs during Operation Cast Lead, although this has not been confirmed. Altogether, Israeli forces destroyed the homes of over 3,400 Palestinian families and left thousands of civilians homeless and physically impaired. According to a UN Human Rights Council report, Israeli forces deliberately targeted civilian objects and failed to take every possible precaution to minimize civilian casualties, thereby violating customary international law.
The Israeli military used F-16 fighter jets with Raytheon missiles in its 2014 assault of Gaza (“Operation Protective Edge”). Experts from Amnesty International believe that Paveway bombs, most likely produced by Raytheon, were also used in several airstrikes on Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. Overall, 2,251 Palestinians were killed, of whom 1,462 were civilians. Israeli forces conducted over 6,000 airstrikes in Gaza and damaged or destroyed 18,000 housing units, 73 medical facilities, and many ambulances, leaving over 100,000 people homeless. Defense for Children International found that of the 550 children killed during Operation Protective Edge, 225 were killed by missiles dropped from Israeli warplanes.
During Operation "Protective Edge," the Israeli military also used the 120mm guided mortars that Raytheon co-developed with IMI Systems to kill 20 civilians outside of a UNRWA school in Jabaliya, Gaza, which was being used as a shelter. According to a UN Human Rights Council report, Israeli forces may have violated international human rights law and committed war crimes on numerous occasions because of their apparent disregard for the preservation of civilian life.
F-16 aircraft were repeatedly used in 2018 to conduct airstrikes in Gaza, resulting in civilian deaths. In February, Israeli missiles launched from F-16 warplanes killed two 17-year-old Palestinian teenagers during six extensive airstrikes, the largest assault since Operation Protective Edge. The attacks wounded two more Palestinians and damaged civilian homes. In July, Israeli forces used F-16 aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned aerial drones to launch about 85 missiles at the Gaza Strip, killing two children and injuring 28 people. The attack damaged residential homes and partially damaged or destroyed numerous ambulances and trucks transporting medical supplies.
Sa’ar missile ships with Raytheon Phalanx weapon systems are used to enforce the illegal naval siege of the Gaza Strip. Israel limits Gaza fishermen to an area no wider than 3 to 6 miles off the coast, severely limiting their access to fishing. The restriction is in contravention of the Oslo Agreements which state that Gaza fishermen should have a clearance of 20 nautical miles off the coast. Even when within the 3 and 6-mile boundaries, Gaza fishermen risk being attacked by Israeli naval vessels, which have killed and injured fishermen and damaged or confiscated their boats. Multiple leading human rights organizations (here, here, and here) consider the siege of the Gaza Strip to be collective punishment in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international law. In 2016, UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon condemned the blockade of Gaza as “collective punishment” and called for accountability. A Sa’ar ship also participated in the Israeli attack on the unarmed Free Gaza Flotilla in 2010, resulting in the killing of 10 humanitarian activists. In November 2017, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda stated that “there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes were committed by some members of the Israel Defence Forces” during the attack on the Free Gaza Flotilla in 2010. The Israeli Navy also used an older version of the Sa’ar to enforce a naval blockade on Lebanon during the 2006 Lebanon war.
Weapons Used in Attacks on Civilians in Yemen
Raytheon’s weapons have been used by the Saudi-led international coalition to perform repeated airstrikes on Yemen, 36 of which Amnesty International described as violations of international law and possible war crimes. These assaults have killed 513 civilians and injured 379 more. In August 2017, a coalition airstrike killed 16 civilians and injured another 17; Amnesty International has identified at least one of the bombs as Raytheon-built. Human Rights Watch identified the use of Raytheon’s GBU-12 Paveway bombs in an attack in 2016 that targeted a water drilling rig, killing 31 civilians, including 3 children. One of the bombs indicated it had been manufactured in October 2015, by which time human rights organizations had already reported multiple attacks violating international law that the coalition had committed against Yemeni civilians.
Raytheon has provided the U.S. government with Tomahawk cruise missiles used in an attack that killed 41 civilians in Yemen in 2009. Amnesty International described the attack as “at the very least unlawful” and “grossly irresponsible.”
Raytheon “Pain Ray” Weapon Used by Military and Prison Authorities
Raytheon developed the Active Denial System (ADS) for the U.S. military as a non-lethal weapon. The machine emits millimeter beams meant to reproduce the sensation of intense heat at the level of a human’s pain receptors, producing pulses that cause maximum pain while avoiding physical damage. Raytheon originally sold the ADS to the U.S. government for use in Iraq in 2005; however, the device was not deployed until 2010 in Afghanistan. It was recalled without having been utilized, possibly due to fear of potential misuse.
In 2010, Raytheon sold a version of the ADS called the Assault Intervention Device, or Silent Guardian, to the Los Angeles County Jail. According to the ACLU of Southern California, allowing the device to be deployed in the prison creates “a wholly unjustified risk that detainees will be needlessly subjected to excessive force -- indeed, a use of force tantamount to torture, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, basic human rights norms, and international law.” In 2013, Andrew Lars Fuchs filed a lawsuit claiming that prison officers abused the device, causing him serious burns and long-term health injuries.
Since Raytheon’s production of the Active Denial System, several other countries have reportedly developed their own “pain ray”, including Israel, where it is known as WaveStun, China, and Russia. As of 2018, there are no reports that the devices have been used operationally outside of the Los Angeles County Jail.
US-Mexico Border Surveillance and Cooperation with US Immigration Authorities
Raytheon was highlighted as one of the fourteen main border security companies in a report published by the Transnational Institute and No Mas Muertes. Between 2008 and 2019 it held 35 contracts with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Since 2009, Raytheon has been supplying CBP with surveillance aircraft equipped with sensors capable of long-range surveillance and tracking, which enable CBP to arrest of refugees and migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico Border. In 2009, CBP acquired its sixth Predator drone, equipped with Raytheon's MTS-B Multi Spectral Targeting System, which is the same technology that allows Predator drones to be equipped with laser-guided bombs and munitions. Although CBP has yet to arm its drones, documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation detail how CBP has considered arming drones to “immobilize” “targets of interest.” In response to reporting, CBP stated in 2013 that it did not have plans to arm drones and was using Raytheon’s technology only to perform “surveillance and reconnaissance” of migrants at the border. More recently, in 2016, the Electronic Frontier Foundation also raised concerns that CBP surveillance drones with Raytheon technology were loaned out to local and state law enforcement for “non-border purposes.”
In 2011, Raytheon received a $45 million dollar contract to equip CBP’s maritime surveillance fleet of P-3 Orion aircraft and Predator-B drones with SeaVue Radar Systems, capable of detecting small maritime targets. Raytheon has continued to supply CBP with SeaVue radar systems up to as recently as December 2018.
In 2011, Raytheon won a $45 million contract from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to develop the core of a modernized investigative case management system to replace ICE’s old TECS (Traveler Enforcement Compliance System) and allow ICE to collect data and share information across more than 100 databases with local law enforcement agencies in order to surveil, track, report and detain undocumented people. In June 2013, ICE terminated the contract with Raytheon due to delays and hired the software company Palantir to complete ICE’s Investigative Case Management (ICM) system. The system is now considered the “engine” of the U.S. deportation and detention machine and is critical to ICE’s functioning.
- On April 26, 2017, University of Wisconsin-Madison students passed a resolution calling on the university to divest from private prisons and corporations that build border walls, naming Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Honeywell, L-3 Communications, Boeing, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, BNP Paribas, Suntrust, US Bank Corp., and Wells Fargo.
- On April 12, 2016, the College Council of the University of Chicago passed a resolution to Divest University funds from apartheid, urging the university “ to withdraw, within the bounds of their fiduciary duty, investments in securities, endowments, mutual funds, and other monetary instruments with holdings in companies profiting from human rights abuses and violations of international law in Palestine, including, Raytheon."
- On March 1, 2016, the University College London Union voted to support the BDS campaign, stating that the student union will “not have any commercial or investment relationship with companies that participate in Israeli violations of international law, including G4S, Veolia, HP and military companies that supply Israel such as BAE Systems and Raytheon.”
- In May 2015 the Olgethorpe University Student Senate passed a resolution to divest from Raytheon “based on evidence of their active role in human rights abuses in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”
- Stanford University students passed a resolution in February 2015, urging divestment from Raytheon, among other “companies implicated in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, many of which facilitate parallel injury against communities of color here in the United States.”
- In February 2015 the University of California Student Association, the official governing assembly of all University of California students, passed a resolution calling for the university to divest from companies “that violate Palestinian human rights,” specifically mentioning Raytheon.
- In January 2015 the UC Davis student senate passed a divestment resolution urging the university to drop investments in Raytheon because it “supplies the Israeli Air Force with guided air-to-serface missiles . . . used in attacks against civilian populations in Palestine.” The bill was later repealed based on constitutional technicality.
- Students at UC Los Angeles passed a resolution to divest from Raytheon in November 2014, stating Raytheon “provide[s] weapons used in attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.”
- UC Riverside’s student government passed a resolution in the spring of 2014, stating that Raytheon makes “guided missiles [that] were used to ruthlessly level civilian dense regions during Operation Cast Lead”
- Loyola University in Chicago passed a 2014 divestment resolution that stated Raytheon “play[s] active roles in the human rights abuses committed by the Israeli Government.”
- In November of 2012, the Associated Students at UC Irvine voted unanimously to divest from Raytheon over its missiles that “leveled civilian dense regions during Operation Cast Lead.”
- The University of Michigan at Dearborn’s student council passed a divestment resolution in 2010, citing Raytheon’s “[sale of] weapons, goods, and services to Israel.
- In 2005 and 2006, the student council at University of Michigan at Dearborn also passed resolutions urging divestment from Raytheon, citing the company’s “support and benefit from the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation.”