Today, I will testify on behalf of Raytheon to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, and share one company’s perspective on what is needed to ensure that the U.S. remains globally competitive – economically and militarily.
Raytheon has operated effectively in the most challenging environments during the past 90 years, and we are well positioned to continue. Our focus is on business initiatives that drive real value for our customers, including adapting proven technologies and developing “capabilities critical to future success.”
We have strong proof points across our company. One example is in the town of Forest, Mississippi, where more than 700 highly-skilled workers manufacture a variety of high-tech components and equipment, including radars, radios, and tactical communications and electronic warfare systems.
When Raytheon opened its first facility in Forest in 1983, it supported a single program. Today, the Forest Consolidated Manufacturing Center consists of 340,000 square feet of state of the art manufacturing space and work is done on multiple programs. The Center enables Raytheon to manufacture sophisticated products like our Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, which already serves as the tactical radar for the Air Force’s F-15 and the Navy and Marine Corps’ F/A-18 fighters. Radars like these have proved to be a leap forward in capability and military effectiveness for the U.S. and allied militaries.
The men and women of Forest just helped Raytheon reach two unprecedented milestones in the industry. We delivered more than 500 operational AESA fighter radars, the most in the world. And those radars, installed both on new fighter jets and retrofitted to extend the lives of older ones, have logged more than 400,000 operational hours, another industry record.
But hard work alone does not guarantee success for companies like Raytheon and the aerospace and defense industry. There are a number of key external factors outside of our control. And that is where government plays a critical role.
Raytheon’s ability to succeed in the global marketplace requires a skilled, well-trained and dedicated workforce; a stable fiscal, tax, and regulatory environment; and the ability to export our products to U.S. allies.
Continuing to invest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is central to our future workforce. We encourage programs and policies to promote investments in STEM education that maximize the number of STEM-capable students and workers, to include student awareness and interest in STEM, recruitment, retention and renewal of highly effective teachers, and undergraduate persistence in STEM disciplines. Raytheon has invested more than $72 million in STEM activities and partnered with educational institutions on workforce development to ensure we have the most skilled employees available.
Growth of international sales depends on the promotion of defense exports abroad. Defense exports help decrease costs and risk associated with technological advances for the U.S. military, American jobs, and, most importantly, our relationships with key partners and allies. Increased advocacy for defense trade should be a higher priority. Doing so is a win-win for industry and the U.S. government.
Raytheon and many other companies will do everything in our power to ensure that we can continue to be leaders in advanced manufacturing that helps states and communities thrive. But for our efforts to succeed, we need to ensure that industry and government are aligned. We must make the investments necessary to guarantee future access to a skilled, well-trained and dedicated workforce, working hand-in-hand with government to maintain a stable fiscal, tax, and regulatory environment in every state, and maintaining our commitment to growing U.S. exports.
Yuse is the president of Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, a leading provider of sensor systems including radars, ISR systems and electronic warfare systems. He has spent nearly 37 years with the Raytheon Company, including serving as president of Raytheon Technical Services Company.