Raytheon CEO: Stinger production surge not coming this year

By Ethan Sterenfeld / April 26, 2022 at 1:52 PM

Raytheon Technologies does not expect to produce new Stinger air-defense missiles in large quantities to replenish Defense Department stockpiles until at least next year, CEO Greg Hayes said Tuesday.

The United States has sent or plans to send 1,400 Stingers and 5,500 Javelin missiles to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia, according to Pentagon a fact sheet released April 22. But the U.S. military has not bought a new Stinger missile in 18 years, and some of the components are no longer available, Hayes said on Raytheon’s quarterly earnings call.

Production continues at low levels for a foreign customer, but there is “a very limited stock” of components, he said. Raytheon will have to redesign some of the components before it can produce significant quantities of the missile.

“We’re going to have to go out and redesign some of the electronics in the missile and in the seeker head,” Hayes said. “We’ll ramp up production what we can this year, but I would expect, again, this is going to be in ’23, ’24 where we actually see orders come in for the larger replenishments, both on Stinger as well as for the Javelin, which has also been very successful in theater.”

Raytheon builds the Javelin antitank guided missile through a joint venture with Lockheed Martin. The Javelin, which is decades newer than the Stinger, has remained in production and retains significant surge capacity, although it can take two and a half years to produce and deliver missiles after an order is placed.

Doug Bush, the Army acquisition executive, said last month that the service would “soon” send Congress a plan to restore stockpiles of the missiles. The Stinger remains a “key enabler” to the Army’s modernization plan, and new short-range air defense vehicles use it.

A Stinger replacement would be fielded by fiscal year 2027 under current Army plans. But $60 million that the program needs to stay on schedule was pushed onto an unfunded priorities list after the service did not include the money in its FY-23 budget request

The budget request included $7.2 million for the Stinger replacement, which is also known as Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense Increment 3.