Raytheon’s Thomas Kennedy: DoD Eyes Next-Gen Tech Against ‘Peer Nation-Type Threats’

Thomas Kennedy
Thomas Kennedy

Raytheon CEO Thomas Kennedy told Defense News in an interview published Monday the U.S.’ and other countries’ efforts to protect sovereignty and address concerns linked to what he called “peer nation-type threats” have spurred a change in the defense industry.

“The Department of Defense is realizing we have to get to the next generation of technology to stay ahead of the threat,” Kennedy told Defense News executive editor Jill Aitoro.

“To me that’s exciting news to the defense industry.”

He also cited Raytheon’s acquisition of Websense in 2015 in an effort to make the latter company a channel to bring cybersecurity tools, including the SureView insider threat detection platform, to the commercial market.

Raytheon has also teamed up with DoD to test and operate multiple small unmanned aerial vehicles designed to collaborate through a single network and plans to conduct similar flight tests with the U.S. Navy by the end of July, he said.

Kennedy noted the company also plans to demonstrate its Patriot missile defense system, AESA radar and cybersecurity tools at the Farnborough International Airshow in the U.K.

He said Raytheon expects to see a 3 to 5 percent growth in fiscal 2016 revenue driven by the worldwide demand for missile defense platforms and the campaign against the Islamic State militant organization, according to a report by Marcus Weisgerber for Defense One.

“The insurgency wars that are going on are essentially providing significant demand for precision weapons,” Kennedy said Monday during an interview at the airshow.

“And the concerns relevant to ballistic missile threats [are] creating demand for missile defense weapons.”

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