Weapon systems made by Tucson-based Raytheon Missiles & Defense are helping to turn the tide of war in Ukraine, which has received billions of dollars worth of arms from the U.S. and other allies to help it repel the Russian invasion.
Since the Russians invaded in February, the U.S. alone has provided Ukraine with more than $15 billion in military aid, including missiles, rockets, artillery, drones, armored vehicles, radars, small arms and ammunition, the State Department said in a Sept. 16 update.
The aid includes Raytheon-made Javelin anti-tank missiles, which have helped Ukraine destroy thousands of Russian tanks and other military vehicles, and Stinger air-defense missiles — and several Raytheon weapon systems only recently confirmed by Pentagon officials.
Here’s a look at weapons being supplied to Ukraine that are made by Raytheon, the Tucson region’s biggest employer with more than 13,000 local workers.
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Javelin anti-tank missile (FGM-148)
Produced by both Raytheon and Lockheed Martin under a joint venture based in Tucson, the portable Javelin can target tanks up to about a mile and half away and attack from a high arc to hit tanks on top where their armor is lightest, locking onto targets to allow operators to move immediately after firing.
The U.S. and its allies have supplied Ukraine with more than 5,000 Javelins and the U.S. is committed to providing more than 8,500 missiles, along with thousands of other anti-tank weapons.
The Raytheon-Lockheed joint venture recently won a $311 million contract to produce Javelins, which cost more than $200,000 each, following contracts worth $309 million in May.
The Javelin has helped Ukraine destroy hundreds of Russian tanks and thousands of vehicles overall, and has been honored by Ukrainians with “St. Javelin” religious icons.
Stinger air-defense missile (FIM-92)
First fielded in 1981, Raytheon’s lightweight, “man-portable” Stinger air-defense missile uses heat-seeking infrared homing to hit low-flying aircraft, helicopters and drones at a range of up to nearly three miles.
Ukraine has received more than 2,000 Stingers, with more than 1,400 from the U.S., the State Department says.
The U.S. famously supplied Stingers to Afghan rebels who used them to great effect in the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s and it is still in use by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps and more than 30 other nations. Though upgraded over the years, the Stinger went out of production in 2020.
But Raytheon is again ramping up production, under a $624.6 million Army contract awarded in May to produce 1,300 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to replenish supplies sent to Ukraine.
NASAMS (National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System)
Co-produced by Raytheon and Norway-based Kongsberg Defence, NASAMS defends against drones, fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and cruise missiles, at at range of up to about 30 miles.
Raytheon recently won a $182 million Army contract to produce six NASAMS as part of the Ukrainian military aid package, after the U.S. previously supplied two systems.
NASAMS uses Raytheon’s Sentinel radar and a surface-launch version of Raytheon’s Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM), which is made in Tucson, and it also has been fitted with an extended-range version of the AMRAAM and Raytheon’s shorter-range Sidewinder air combat missile.
NASAMS is fielded by a dozen U.S. allies, and a NASAMS guards the U.S. Capitol Region of Washington, D.C.
Excalibur artillery shell (M982)
Co-developed by Raytheon Missiles & Defense and BAE Systems Bofors, the GPS-guided Excalibur 155mm artillery shell can hit targets within a few meters at a range of about 25 miles. Each shell cost about $113,000 in fiscal 2021, according to Pentagon budget documents.
The State Department has disclosed that the U.S. has supplied Ukraine with 2,000 “precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds,” and recently released budget documents show that the Pentagon is seeking $92 million to replenish Excalibur stocks sent to Ukraine.
TOW anti-tank missile (BGM-71)
First fielded during the Vietnam War, the TOW (Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) missile system is fired from a ground launcher, vehicles or helicopters and has a range of about two miles.
The original TOW missile remains attached to the launch unit with a wire that carries targeting data to the missile; some newer versions use a wireless guidance system.
The U.S. has supplied Ukraine with 1,500 TOW missile systems, according to the State Department.
The TOW is the primary heavy anti-armor and assault missile for the U.S. Marine Corps and is fielded by more than 40 allied nations.
High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM AGM-88)
In service since 1983 and used by the U.S. and 15 allied nations, the air-launched HARM is designed to home in on and destroy air-defense radars from a range of about 90 miles. It was used extensively to blind enemy air defenses in Operation Desert Storm and later in Iraq.
Raytheon makes the HARM AGM-88 and has upgraded it with a control section that adds GPS guidance. Norhthrop Grumman makes a newer version, the AGM-88E Advanced Antiradiation Guided Missile.
The State Department had said the U.S. has supplied Ukraine with an undisclosed number of “high-speed anti-radiation missiles,” without specifying the type.
But a senior Air Force official recently confirmed that the HARM had been adapted to Ukraine’s Soviet-era MiG-29 and Su-27 fighters.
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