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NEWS: Attacks would put Raytheon's weaponry in world spotlight

Attacks would put Raytheon's weaponry in world spotlight

   By Aaron Zitner, Boston Globe Staff, 02/18/98

WASHINGTON - From an attack on Baghdad's air defenses to ''surgical
strikes'' at weapons factories, war with Iraq would showcase the greatly
expanded role in US national security played by Raytheon Co. of Lexington. 

Raytheon's best-known contribution to the Gulf War seven years ago was it=
s Patriot ''antimissile'' missile, which was rushed to Israel to defend
against Iraqi scuds. At the time, Raytheon spokesmen often portrayed the
company as a maker of so-called defensive weapons designed to protect US
troops and planes from the enemy. 

But now, thanks to acquisitions that have made it the nation's number thr=
ee defense contractor, Raytheon produces a large share of the nation's
''smart'' bombs and other weaponry that would be important if President
Clinton launches a strike against Iraq. 

If the conflict plays out as it did in 1991 - with constant television
pictures of US weapons in action - the new and larger Raytheon could eith=
er build its reputation or suffer an embarrassment while the world is
watching. It could also see the Pentagon test two of its new weapons
systems at the most public of moments. 

''Raytheon is a key supplier of intelligent munitions that can hit a
target and leave civilians nearby unharmed, and under the current scenario
that is exactly the type of conflict we plan to engage in,'' said Brett
Lambert of DFI International, a Washington defense analysis firm. 

''No matter what, Raytheon is going to play a significant role because of
all of its missiles,'' said Larry Dickerson of Forecast International, a
Newtown, Conn., defense analysis firm.

Raytheon did not produce ''smart'' weapons during the last war - a fact
that underscores the changed landscape of the defense industry. 

Beginning in the early 1990s, the Defense Department stopped using multip=
le suppliers for many weapons and encouraged companies to merge. This was
a cost-saving move, designed to close half-used production lines and make
better use of remaining factories. Rather than sell its defense business,
Raytheon bought other companies to grow from the seventh-largest defense
firm in 1993 to become number three today, with more than $20 billion in
annual sales, double that of three years ago. Only Lockheed Martin Corp. 
and Boeing Co. are bigger. 

Now, Raytheon owns two weapons that accounted for 65 percent of all
air-launched smart bombs delivered during the Gulf War, the company says. 
The company's product line includes: 

The Paveway smart bomb, acquired when Raytheon bought the defense units of
Texas Instruments Inc. in July for $2.95 billion. More than 15,000 of the=
se bombs - also known as the ''bunker buster'' - were dropped in the last
war and were often seen in television reports gliding through the
airshafts of enemy buildings. 

The High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile, or HARM, a smart weapon that flies
ahead of US planes to find and destroy enemy anti-aircraft radars. Raythe=
on also acquired the HARM from Texas Instruments. More than 2,000 were
fired in the Gulf War. 

The Tomahawk cruise missile, acquired when Raytheon bought Hughes Aircraft
>from General Motors Corp. in December for $9.5 billion. Nearly 300 were
fired in the Gulf War at Iraqi missile sites, command centers, weapons
caches, and other targets. A new version is guided by global positioning
satellites, a network of 24 satellites fixed high above the earth and use=
d for navigation.

All three weapons are still in use. Raytheon would not discuss where they
are deployed, but all three are believed to be in the Persian Gulf. In
fact, analysts said a Tomahawk or HARM missile is likely to be the first
weapon fired in a war.

''It is highly probable that a Raytheon system would be the first to hit
the ground in any type of conflict,'' Lambert said. 

An armed conflict could also give the Pentagon a chance to test two other
Raytheon weapons, one of which is a new breed of Paveway that got a
limited battlefield test during the Gulf War. 

 The largest Paveway had been 2,000 pounds, ''but during the Gulf War, the
Air Force told us they were not able to penetrate the concrete bunkers
under the sand,'' said Tony Geishauser, a Raytheon spokesman in Texas. So
Texas Instruments, which then made the system, sawed off the barrels of
several howitzer artillery pieces, loaded them with munitions, and attach=
ed laser-guidance systems to make a 5,000-pound Paveway.

 Tests showed the heavier Paveway could penetrate at least 100 feet in the
ground, Geishauser said. Two were dropped in the Gulf War, he said, and
one was known to have worked successfully. The war ended the following

The other new Raytheon weapon is called the Joint Standoff Weapon. 
Developed by Texas Instruments, JSOW is a bomb that glides to its target
with the help of global positioning satellites. Cloud cover and fog
hindered other smart weapons during the Gulf War because a pilot was
required to locate a target visually. A satellite-based system is designed
to be used in all types of weather.

Geishauser said that Raytheon does not want a war to showcase its weapons
and that ''nobody more than Raytheon wants to see a diplomatic solution''
to the standoff. But he also said: ''Let's be practical. No matter what
happens, the actual battlefield is the ultimate test, isn't it? If for
whatever reason something didn't work on the battlefield, it would not be
a success.''

In addition to its Patriot missile, Raytheon has long been the dominant
maker of air-to-air missiles, used by US planes to defend themselves from
enemy aircraft. Those missiles include the AMRAAM, Sparrow, and

Depending on the length of the war and its success, a conflict with Iraq
could be a boost to US defense companies, said Peter Aseritis, a stock
analyst with CS First Boston in New York. All the television coverage
''was great advertising [during the Gulf War], but remember, we had an air
campaign and then a ground campaign,'' he said. Companies made money as
the government replenished its supplies of weapons after the war, and
oversea= s buyers lined up for other weapons systems that had been

''Now, they're talking about an air campaign of limited duration,''
Aseritis said. That could mean little work for defense firms in
replenishing US stockpiles. Worse, Aseritis said, if Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein survives the war, public opposition could build against
buying high-tech weapons. 

In addition, companies could be hurt if their weapons fail to perform. The
Gulf War, for example, made a star out of Raytheon's Patriot missile and
earned the company a thank-you visit from President Bush. But the Patriot
was later tarnished by accusations, rejected by Raytheon, that it did not
truly knock out as many Iraqi scuds as the Pentagon had claimed. In
addition, a General Accounting Office report released last year said that
manufacturers' claims for the Tomahawk, Paveway, and other weapons were

This story ran on page A01 of the Boston Globe on 02/18/98.
=A9 Copyright 1998 Globe Newspaper Company.

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