A photo of a Raytheon Missile
A Raytheon Missile cc by cliff1066/Flickr.

Defense contractor and electronics heavyweight extraordinaire Raytheon will build a new missile manufacturing and testing plant in Alabama. Raytheon Missile Systems has been a mainstay in Tucson, Ariz., for half a century. This does not mean that the Tucson location will close. Raytheon has a long history of excellence in engineering, especially in defense as it is one of the world’s largest defense contractors.

New plant in Tucson was not feasible

Raytheon Missile Systems required a new facility for testing and building a ship defense project and for a new ship-based interceptor missile, according to Business Week. (An interceptor blows up incoming missiles.) Because of scheduling and zoning requirements, a new facility in Tucson would not be able to be open in time. Huntsville, Ala., was picked as the new site. The facility can have its ground breaking fairly soon, and it could be a $ 75 million, 70,000 square foot building.

The laser-like focus of Raytheon

Raytheon is able to use lasers as defensive weapons, succeeding where Ronald Reagan could not. Raytheon has created a defensive laser weapon that can shoot an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle down easily. According to CNET, a recent test on the California coast of the laser shot four out of four UAVs down. The laser causes the target to burn and fall out of the sky.

Longstanding tradition of excellence

Raytheon has a long history of being on the cutting edge of engineering, apart from just defense projects. When the business was still the American Appliance Company, it  invented a vacuum tube so radios could use home electricity, rather than a battery, before the invention of the transistor. Among other Raytheon innovations were radar for naval vessels and the microwave oven.

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