Why Raytheon is launching a ‘solar’ defense company
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) A new defense contractor says it is looking to invest in the military’s solar and electric propulsion capabilities as it expands into a technology sector where it has been underrepresented.
Raytheon’s $50 billion acquisition of Raytheron Inc. would be the largest single solar and solar-powered acquisition in U.S. history, the defense contractor said in a statement Tuesday.
The company, which has made a name for itself developing lasers, lasers and other advanced technology for satellites and drones, will use the $50-billion investment to create a new solar power and solar propulsion group that it will lead and manage, according to the statement.
RayTheon is an aerospace and defense giant that builds missiles, ships, submarines, drones and unmanned aerial vehicles.
The company has built a rocket engine and a rocket for the Space Shuttle and is also building the first fully autonomous drone.
Ray theon said the group would focus on “advancing Raytheonic capabilities” and would not have a specific mission, but would “bring a broad set of capabilities to the commercial market” as part of a broader mission to expand its capabilities.
Ray Theon, whose products include the S-band laser, said it had “high confidence” in the company’s ability to make its lasers more efficient and cost-effective.
It said the acquisition would help Raytheons solar and other propulsion systems.
Raynestech, a maker of advanced communications and networking technologies, was one of the companies chosen to take a stake in Raytheomt, according the statement from RayTheon.
The acquisition is the first in Raynestecs 20-year history.
Raynor is a maker to the aerospace industry, including the Atlas V rocket and Air Force jet fighter.
Raynor has long been focused on building solar- and wind-powered missiles, but it recently joined forces with other companies to make the Solar Impulse aircraft.
The Solar Impulses have been grounded after a crash in October in Florida.
RayNestech is expected to use the investment to “implement the first-ever fully autonomous flight system for commercial manned missions,” the statement said.
RayNor is the second-largest aerospace company after Lockheed Martin.
Rayandron, a U.K.-based company, said in February it planned to invest $200 million in its first commercial rocket launch, with the aim of making it reusable.
The first-stage of a rocket, which launches satellites into orbit, is the most powerful part of an aircraft.