Raytheon has town in its sights

Aorund 600 jobs have been safeguarded
Aorund 600 jobs have been safeguarded

The world’s fifth largest arms manufacturer is to bring all of its UK weapons production to Glenrothes, safeguarding around 600 jobs.

Glenrothes-based Raytheon UK, which generates revenues of over £400 million per year from its four main markets, weapons and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, special mission aircraft modification, and its newest market, cyber technology, has made the move as part of its drive to build on its impressive sales overseas.

Raytheon UK’s CEO, Richard Daniel, said recently: “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.”

Glenrothes is already the US-owned weapons manufacturer’s sole production site for advanced electronics in the UK and has been for the last 18 months.

The company recently opened a £3 million cyber innovation centre near GCHQ, Britain’s intelligence gathering base in Cheltenham.

The cyber centre is part of an ambitious investment plans with the company also creating a special mission modification centre at Broughton, North Wales, and a technical facility at Harlow.

In October last year, the firm won a £95 million contract with Israel to make Tamar missiles for its Iron Dome defence system, which protects from incoming missile fire from Gaza.

The UK Government has lifted restrictions on arms sales to Israel following a year-long review of export licences for arms which ministers said may have been used in the bombing of Gaza in 2014.

A demonstration, organised Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, saw hundreds march on company’s Fullerton Road factory in August, calling for an end to the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction in the town.

Andrew Smith, of Campaign Against Arms Trade, said: “This announcement means even more weapons will be made in Scotland. We urge the Scottish Government to join us in condemning and opposing arms companies like Raytheon that fuel war and profit from conflict.”