It was Tucson’s grand slam – the coup that would forever change the face of the Old Pueblo.
In February 1951 this sleepy desert town of 46,000 awoke to the news that Howard Hughes had selected Tucson for Hughes Aircraft’s missile and weapons pision.
The perseverance of Roy Drachman sealed the deal that became the economic development triumph of the century.
Hughes – now Raytheon Missile Systems – brought world-class engineers and technology to our city. Tucson became a think-tank for innovation, a hub for aerospace advancement and home of the largest missile supplier in the world.
Six decades ago, the local aerospace and defense industry was vitually non-existent. Today, thanks in great part to Raytheon’s deep roots here, one in five jobs and more than 200 companies in Southern Arizona are linked to this high-wage industry.
Ron Shoopman, retired Air Force general and president of Southern Arizona Leadership Council, said, “When it comes to developing the most versatile and effective weapons in the world, Raytheon has no equal.”
The men and women of this global defense leader make a significant impact on our region – from technology innovation and scientific research to community volunteerism and philanthropy.
Through good times and bad, Raytheon has been there for us. We celebrate Raytheon as a pillar of our economy and applaud its ongoing commitment to our community.
Steven E. Rosenberg
Publisher & Owner BizTucson