Raytheon is one of the world’s largest arms companies and its factory in Glenrothes, Fife, produces laser guided systems for Paveway IV missiles (Billy Briggs on 15th Sept, 2015, The Ferret). The Paveway IV is a primary weapon for the Eurofighter Typhoon.                                                                                  
In July 2011 Raytheon UK was awarded a £10 million pounds, four-year contract to provide, in their own words “continued in-service support for both current and legacy U.K. Paveway™ Weapon Systems for the U.K. Ministry of Defence. Raytheon UK will be responsible for key support activities including configuration management, design support, obsolescence, safety management, spares provision and quality assurance,” [48].

Raytheon UK’s Paveway Global Factory initiative at it’s manufacturing facility in Glenrothes, Fife, means the Glenrothes facility continues to be considered “a nationally important technology leader and export success.” (Bob Delorge, chief executive, Raytheon UK), [48].

The Glenrothes facility is where Raytheon UK’s Weapons Sub Systems is based. This is one of the two key business areas for Raytheon UK’s weapons facilities. The other being Complex Weapons System, which is based in Harlow.

The Daily Record reported in 2015 that Raytheon, the fifth largest arms firm in the world, were transferring all of their UK weapons manufacturing in advanced electronics to their Glenrothes factory.

Raytheon explained in an interview with a trade magazine that moving production to Scotland was part of it’s new strategy to export more abroad. Raytheon’s UK boss Richard Daniel said: “About half of my business is already export but we are looking for further international growth and a lot of my team will be focused on overseas markets,” [49].

Protesters blockading the main gate of Raytheon, Glenrothes, being removed and arrested

Campaigners are removed and arrested following a 5hr blockade of the main gate of Raytheon, Glenrothes, by Dave

Paveway IV is deployable on Tornado GR4, Typhoon and the Joint Strike Fighter. It has been deployed with the UK Royal Air Force since 2008 and since then it’s been deployed on all UK combat operations, including Operations Herrick and Ellamy.

Raytheon describe themselves as a significant contributor to the economy in Scotland through employing well over 600 people in Glenrothes and through exporting £500 million of advanced systems and technologies since 2002.                                                         

Raytheon’s Glenrothes facility in Fife has been described as a manufacturing and engineering hub of excellence for 50 years. It is now Raytheon UK’s sole production site for advanced electronics in the UK.
The Glenrothes facility for Raytheon UK, generates revenues from its four main markets, weapons and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, special mission aircraft modification, and its newest market, cyber technology, [50].

In addition to the Paveway contracts, other work includes the Control Section for AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missiles), and components for UK Tomahawk TLAM, for which Glenrothes is the sole UK supplier, [64].
On 23rd Feb 2017, while the conflict in Yemen continuing, a four-day international arms fair in Abu Dhabi took place. The International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), is one of the largest arms fairs in the Middle East and is held every two years. The UAE is part of the Saudi led coalition in Yemen, and many of the weapons that were on display are being used in the Saudi led coalitions airstrikes and are produced in Britain. The arms fair prominently featured the major companies involved in supplying the Saudi-led coalition, such as BAE systems, MBDA and Raytheon. Paveway IV featured highly at the show which according to a defence source are considered to be “battle proven” and “very attractive to the Saudi and UAE air forces operating in Yemen”. One of the biggest contracts publicly announced at the show was a $350m deal for Raytheon, who make the Paveway IV guided bomb used in Yemen, to supply munitions to the UAE Air Force and the UAE Air Defence Force, [54 and 55].

RAF Ground Crew Transporting Paveway III Bomb, from the Paveway series of bombs, by Defence Images, (CC Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0)

RAF Ground Crew Transporting Paveway III Bomb, from the Paveway series of bombs, by Defence Images, (CC BY-NC 2.0), [80]

When the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was giving written evidence to the select committee, the government confirmed that UK- sourced weapons, including Paveway precision-guided bombs, had been used in the airstrikes in Yemen carried out by the Saudi-led coalition [31].     

The Government has provided evidence that Saudi Arabia requested more assistance from the UK when the conflict escalated in March 2015 . As described above, the Government stated that, “after consideration of Saudi needs and the UK’s domestic and international legal obligations the Government has: accelerated delivery of Paveway precision-guided bombs” [31].                                                               
The UK MoD then went out of its way to help the Saudis by diverting 500 lb Paveway IV guided bombs to the Saudis, which were originally intended for the RAF. The outcome of this action was to directly enable Saudi Arabia to continue striking targets in Yemen and Syria, [34]. Paveway IV bombs are manufactured by Raytheon, who describe themselves as “the world’s premier missile maker”. Major components of the Paveway systems for the smart bombs are produced at the Raytheon UK site in Scotland at Glenrothes in Fife.
Sometimes remnants of the missiles used in attacks may be found in the debris of an airstrike, which may hold clues as to the type of missile used. This was the case with the bombing of Hodeidah port, where remnants of the missiles were found. Independent bomb experts identified them as belonging to Paveway bombs [15].

Raytheon are one of Israel’s biggest arms suppliers and are one of only two firms who make the Paveway II smart bomb.

A huge Paveway II bomb was pictured falling, as part of the 2014 Gaza War from 8th July-26th August. The war killed an estimated 2,220 Palestinians of whom 1,492 were civilians, and it also killed 66 Israeli soldiers and 5 Israeli civilians (UN OCHA Fragmented Lives, Humanitarian Overview 2014, March 2015, see 52).

Photographs taken during the 2014 attacks also showed a guided bomb, identified as a Paveway II, destroying a block of flats in Gaza.

In 2009, after the Gaza war from 27 December 2008 – 18th January 2009, Amnesty International found remnants of a 500lb bomb with manufacturing codes identifying it as one of Raytheon’s.

The bombs and their navigation systems are made in separate components at various sites around the world, including at the plant in Glenrothes, before being assembled in the US.        

RAF Enhanced Paveway II Bomb, from the Paveway series of bombs, by Defence Images, (CC Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0)

RAF Enhanced Paveway II Bomb, from the Paveway series of bombs, by Defence Images, (CC BY-NC  2.0), [80]        

When asked at the time if the Scottish made systems were being used in bombs in Gaza, Raytheon said: “Our Glenrothes facility does component work for a wide range of our government and commercial solutions.”(Billy Briggs, Daily Record, 10 August 2014, see 53).           

Raytheon supply Israel with guided air-to-surface missiles, as well as cluster bombs and bunker busters. Their radars are also used in Israel’s jets and missiles and the firm won a £95 million contract with Israel to make Tamar missiles for its Iron Dome defence shield designed to shoot down rockets fired by Hamas, [50].

On 13th Aug 2006, Mark McLaughin and Murdo Macleod of the Scotsman reported, “Firm fears attack over Israeli bomb link” They reported that as Raytheon Systems Ltd in Glenrothes produced guidance systems for “bunker-busting” bombs used by the Israelis in Lebanon, the company had upped its security amid fears that its workers were at risk of being attacked by protesters. They reported that Raytheon Systems Ltd in Glenrothes, manufactures the GPS-aided navigation system for the Paveway guided bombs which are produced in the United States and sold to Israel, and were used in attacks on Hezbollah militia in Lebanon.     

Just after the attacks on Lebanon and on another occasion around the time of Israel’s attacks on Gaza protesters blocked the main gate of Raytheon     

There has been little protest activity outside Raytheon for many years, despite the knowledge of it’s involvement in supplying arms to countries who are using those very munitions in operations which have seriously violated International Humanitarian Laws.




Billy Briggs 5th Oct, 2016 in the Ferret reports on the scale of Raytheon’s lobbying of government as exposed by CAAT. They found that Raytheon has enjoyed 74 hours of meetings with the MoD since the Tories came to power in 2010 and six meetings with the Prime Minister’s Office lasting 10 hours. It represents a very close level of access to government and a relationship that enables the company to be in a position to influence decision makers.        

Other examples of this close accessible relationship include how three senior MoD officials have ended up working at Raytheon. Raytheon also met with Philip Hammond September 2015 before he was appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer. As Foreign Secretary, Hammond refused to stop UK arms exports to the Saudi Arabia, regardless of calls for arms sales to stop from organisations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Save The Children.        

In terms of Raytheon wining and dining government ministers, examples include how Raytheon treated Tory MP Mark Lancaster, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Personnel and Veterans, to a Burns Supper in January 2016. Raytheon also wined and dined Tory MP Philip Dunne, when he was Minister for Defence Procurement.         

During 26 of the 57 meetings Raytheon had with the government, officials from the Defence and Security Organisation (DSO) were also present. The DSO helps the UK defence and security industries to promote arms exports.

They do this by building strong relationships with industry and overseas governments. DSO also provides “specialist export advice and practical assistance, working closely with industry and government departments including the Ministry of Defence (MOD), the Home Office and the Export Control Organisation (ECO).” https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-trade-and-investment-defence-and-security-organisation/about


Please sign CAAT’s petition to STOP ARMS SALES TO SAUDI ARABIA – [73]


During the 2014 Gaza War, the Scottish Government called for a suspension of arms sales to Israel. (http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/made-scotland-israeli-bombs-used-4031201)
Angus Robertson, the SNP’s leader at Westminster, described the situation whereby arms sales to Saudi Arabia are being used by the Saudi-coalition in their bombing in Yemen, as meaning that the UK was “effectively at war” [23]. In Jan 2016 he requested a meeting with David Cameron (who was Prime Minister at the time) to discuss the ongoing crisis in Yemen and to urge him to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia.                                 


Scottish Parliament Building, Hamish Irvine (CC Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0)

Scottish Parliament Building, Hamish Irvine (CC BY-NC 2.0), [80]

 However, the Herald on 22nd May 2016 reported on how the SNP was being accused of hypocrisy after a senior minister, Fergus Ewing, privately praised an arms manufacturer linked to the Saudi-led bombing of Yemen, whilst the party condemned the same war in public.                          

Files released under freedom of information show the then Business Minister Fergus Ewing visited the Glenrothes factory owned by US defence giant Raytheon in September 2015, shortly after the plant was linked to civilian casualties in Yemen
Ewing’s briefing note stated: “This government’s priority is to make sure that any company based in Scotland can compete in global markets.”                            

Ewing first visited the plant at Raytheon’s invitation in March 2012. The civil service briefing for the visit said his “key messages” should include “Congratulations to company for its innovative work”, and “Thanks for active commitment and support of the company in the development and implementation of the Scottish AD&M (Aerospace, Defence & Marine]) industry Strategy.”

Protestors blockading Raytheon in Glenrothes, who produce major components for bombs used in attacks on Gaza

Campaigners blockading Raytheon in Glenrothes, who produce major components for Paveway bombs used in attacks on Gaza, by Dave