It will be years before Raytheon Technologies can build new Stinger shoulder-fired missiles due to a dwindling supply of weapons parts, the company’s CEO said Tuesday.
The U.S. has shipped Stingers to Ukraine’s military, which has used them to shoot down Russian aircraft. But there’s only a finite supply as Raytheon has not made Stinger missiles for the U.S. military in nearly two decades.
“We’re going to have to go out and redesign some of the electronics in the missile and the seeker head,” Raytheon Technologies CEO Greg Hayes told investment analysts Tuesday during the company’s quarterly earnings call. “That’s going to take us a little bit of time.”
The company has “a very limited stock of material for Stinger production,” Hayes said, as it’s currently building a missile for a sole international customer.
In March, Ukraine said it needed 500 Stingers and Javelin anti-tank missiles per day. Raytheon and Lockheed Martin jointly make the Javelin.
In recent weeks, Raytheon executives have met with Pentagon officials about the issues. Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks met with Raytheon earlier this month, part of a broader Pentagon effort to replenish American weapon stockpiles and arm the Ukrainians.
“We’re actively trying to resource some of the materials,” Hayes said of the Stinger parts.
The CEO said he does not expect the Pentagon to place large replenishment orders for Stingers and Javelins until 2023 or 2024.
The U.S. has sent thousands of Javelins to the Ukrainians, who have used the weapon to stop Russian tanks and armored vehicles.
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