The arms producer’s present workers don’t know the way to make the Chilly Struggle-era launchers
Raytheon has misplaced the data crucial to construct Stinger anti-air missiles and is enlisting retired workers to restart manufacturing, the corporate’s president mentioned in a current interview. With manufacturing halted since 2003, Raytheon is struggling to satisfy Ukraine’s calls for.
“Stinger’s been out of manufacturing for 20 years, and rapidly within the first 48 hours [of the conflict in Ukraine], it’s the star of the present and everyone needs extra,” Wes Kremer, the president of Raytheon’s missile division, advised Protection One in an interview printed on Wednesday.
Raytheon started constructing shoulder-fired FIM-92 Stinger missile launchers in 1978, primarily based on a design by Common Dynamics. Manufacturing resulted in 2003, with the final Stingers delivered to the Pentagon the next yr.
Stinger missiles had been among the many first American weapons despatched to Ukraine following the launch of Russia’s navy operation final February. Greater than 1,700 Stingers have been taken from US shares and despatched to Kiev since then, accounting for greater than 13 years’ value of manufacturing, Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes mentioned in December.
The Pentagon awarded a $624 million contract to Raytheon final summer time, ordering 1,700 Stingers for supply by 2026. Nonetheless, Kremer advised Protection One that it’s going to take 30 months earlier than the primary missiles begin rolling off the manufacturing line, as the corporate’s present workers don’t know the way to make them.
“We had been bringing again retired workers which are of their 70s … to show our new workers the way to really construct a Stinger,” he mentioned. “We’re pulling check gear out of warehouses and blowing the spider webs off of them.”
Hayes warned final yr that lots of the digital elements used within the Stinger at the moment are out of date. Kremer mentioned that the corporate is “redesigning circuit playing cards [and] redesigning a few of the componentry” to get round this drawback, including that this course of “simply takes a very long time.”
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