Raytheon CEO Says Region Needs to Improve Its Missile Defense Systems

Raytheon CEO Says Region Needs to Improve Its Missile Defense Systems

Thursday, 19 July, 2018 - 07:15
Dr. Thomas Kennedy, CEO and Chairman of Raytheon (Asharq Al-Awsat)
London - Mosaied Al-Zayani
Thomas Kennedy, chairman and CEO of Raytheon, a defense and security firm, said his company’s Saudi branch was planning to nationalize the military industry in the Kingdom.

He stressed, however, that the nationalization procedures would not be limited to manufacturing, but would also include design and development, especially in the areas of integrated air and missile defenses, air traffic control systems, security systems and cybersecurity.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat on the sidelines of an aviation exhibition in London, Kennedy revealed that Raytheon was seeking to develop joint projects in various aspects of military action in Saudi Arabia.

He revealed that work was underway to develop the Kingdom’s capabilities in the field of cybersecurity and implement a strategy aimed at nationalizing the military industries by 50 percent in the future.

As for the air support systems, he noted that Raytheon would strengthen Saudi defense capabilities under a joint venture with the Saudi Military Industries Company and would cooperate with the Cyber Security Company appointed by the Saudi government to develop this area.

Cybersecurity is a major part of Raytheon’s work, according to the CEO, who highlighted an MoU signed with Saudi Aramco that would enable the two sides to work together to create effective solutions in cybersecurity.

Raytheon is a New York-listed technology and innovation company specializing in defense, security and civil markets around the world. Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, the company achieved sales of $25 billion in 2017 and has a workforce of about 64,000 employees worldwide.

Kennedy said the company has been cooperating with Saudi Royal Air Defense Force and Saudi Royal Air Force for many years, adding that it was currently working with other military institutions, the Ministry of the Interior and Saudi Aramco. He emphasized that the establishment of Saudi Raytheon was part of the efforts of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, to achieve the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

Asked about the company’s work in the United Arab Emirates, the chairman stressed that the UAE has been Raytheon’s partner for 31 years, during which Raytheon UAE was established and would be run by Emiratis with the goal of nationalizing the company.

As for the growth of Raytheon’s works, Kennedy revealed that the company concluded 2017 with a 32 percent growth in its international sales, the 14th consecutive year of growth.

The region is witnessing an urgent need to improve the capabilities of integrated air and missile defenses, according to the CEO. As Yemen’s conflict is threatening both Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the two countries demand solutions to protect their sovereignty and ensure the safety of their peoples, he explained.

Raytheon, established nearly 95 years ago, provides electronic devices, mission systems, command and control products, computers, cybersecurity and sensor systems, effects and task support, and operates in more than 80 countries around the world.

Kennedy is chairman and CEO of Raytheon. He joined the company in 1983. Before being appointed chairman in October 2014, Kennedy became CEO in March 2014, and he was elected to Raytheon’s Board of Directors in January 2014.

Prior to joining Raytheon, Kennedy served in the US Air Force where he attained the rank of captain. He earned a doctorate in engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles; and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Rutgers University and the Air Force Institute of Technology, respectively.

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