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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 day. 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 Sidewinder. 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 showcased. ''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 overstated. This story ran on page A01 of the Boston Globe on 02/18/98. =A9 Copyright 1998 Globe Newspaper Company. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. 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