Collage of images from stories of 2020

A year in review at Raytheon Technologies

2020 was busy with COVID response, advances in missile defense, space exploration and aviation

2020 was the year Raytheon Technologies got to work. 

The story of the company’s inaugural year is one best told through the words, actions and accomplishments of its employees. Here, selected from scores of features published on the company’s digital channels, are stories that illustrate Raytheon Technologies’ sense of purpose, its innovation in transforming the technology of aerospace and defense, and its initiatives to support and improve communities around the world.

Creating the future of aerospace and defense

One of the most important stories Raytheon Technologies had to tell this year was the creation of the company itself. Raytheon Technologies formed in April, bringing together four businesses and approximately 200,000 employees for a clear and singular purpose: to create the future of aerospace and defense.

The new company, with more than 180 years of combined experience, is already building on that history, with transformative technologies that are making the world safer, smarter and better connected. Behind it all stands a newly combined community of 60,000 engineers working collaboratively to realize the company’s full potential and redefine the industry.

Raytheon Technologies’ response to COVID-19

Raytheon Technologies officially launched on April 3, 2020, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic was ravaging Europe and Asia and was ramping up rapidly in the United States. The new company took quick action, including numerous efforts to produce personal protective equipment and ventilators, to ensure safety at its own sites for essential workers, and to address the sudden spike in food insecurity.

More than 50 company locations collaborated to deliver on a commitment by CEO Greg Hayes to deliver thousands of medical face shields — and they did it in just 23 days.

That was among a series of activities, many organized and initiated by employees, to produce and deliver emergency supplies. Collins Aerospace employees used tools normally used to make airliner seats to address a massive shortage of medical scrubs shortage in Northern Ireland. Pratt & Whitney employees gave blood in Poland. A Raytheon UK employee volunteered as a motorcycle courier to deliver supplies to hospitals. In Massachusetts and Connecticut, employees from across the company who serve in the National Guard were activated to help ship protective equipment, transport medical equipment and establish temporary hospitals.

Raytheon Technologies also made a $5 million donation to Feeding America and 15 employee-led events across nine states to pack or distribute food for the organization.

The company supported its numerous small business suppliers with actions including web conferences on the federal assistance program process. In India, Collins Aerospace partnered with local nonprofits to raise money for basic community and medical needs. Meanwhile, Raytheon BBN joined a coalition of innovators that included the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop PACT — a private automated contact tracing app.

Making flying safer and more sustainable

There’s no getting around it: 2020 was a tough year for aviation. To support the industry, Collins Aerospace leadership articulated a plan for its recovery, both in the short term and the long term. Collins also worked with commercial aviation companies to improve flight safety for those still traveling today, including a new phone app that uses quick response (QR) codes to eliminate the need to touch airport kiosks.

Planning for the future, Collins and Raytheon Intelligence & Space are also teaming up to pursue a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration contract to overhaul the agency’s telecommunications infrastructure – an update that could drastically improve aviation for everyone from pilots to passengers.

And at Pratt & Whitney, the future of environmentally sustainable flight continued to take shape as the business worked on new models of the Geared Turbofan engine — a quieter, more efficient and cleaner alternative to conventional jet engines.

Smarter defense

Raytheon Technologies’ defense capabilities took big steps forward in 2020.

In November, a Raytheon Missiles & Defense-built interceptor known as the SM-3 had a successful and historic test off the coast of Hawaii, making its first-ever intercept of a simulated ballistic missile. Sensors from Raytheon Intelligence & Space were also part of the test, working from low-Earth orbit to detect and track the target, then relay the decision to decision-makers in a demonstration of what’s known as “space-based early warning.”

Missile being fired from a ship

For military aviators, Collins Aerospace is developing ACES 5, a new generation of ejection seats that include several features to reduce the risk of injury. And across the company, Raytheon Technologies businesses continue to deliver numerous systems for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, from navigation to precision weapons to the Pratt & Whitney engine that powers the aircraft.

In cybersecurity news, a team from Raytheon Intelligence & Space won a U.S. Air Force-sponsored competition to hack a satellite at the DEF CON 28 cybersecurity conference, with the goal being to show the Air Force how to build more resilient systems in the future.

The company is also advancing its use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide military customers with accurate and actionable information they need to make critical, split-second decisions.

Discovering the uncharted

In space, the room for innovation is unlimited – and Raytheon Technologies employees know it.

Collins Aerospace celebrated 20 years of its technology on the International Space Station, including the systems that have made every spacewalk from the ISS or space shuttles possible. The business is also developing an onboard trash compactor that would not only conserve room on the spacecraft but might also provide the crew with a source of water and protection from solar radiation.

On the ground, Raytheon Intelligence & Space continued its operation of NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, operated by Raytheon Intelligence & Space, and RGNext, a Raytheon Technologies joint venture, played a critical role in the highly publicized launch of two NASA astronauts and supplies on a commercially built spacecraft.

Diversity, equity and inclusion

Racial justice was a defining theme of 2020, and Raytheon Technologies addressed it directly at a time of protest and unrest across the United States. Hayes issued a call to employees to stand together against racism, discrimination and hatred, and company leaders worked with employee resource groups to develop a plan to improve diversity, equity and inclusion, both within the company and in communities around the world.

On GivingTuesday, the company announced a five-year, $25-million commitment to support marginalized individuals and communities through programs focused on racial justice, empowerment and career readiness, including a two-for-one employee donation match to selected nonprofits. To help create an environment to hear all voices, Raytheon Technologies also partnered with the Congressional Black Caucus to increase Black representation in aerospace and defense policymaking.

Events go virtual

With the COVID-19 pandemic canceling worldwide events from sports arenas to airfields, Raytheon Technologies flipped the script on international trade shows and went digital. Take the Farnborough International Air Show, for example, or the virtual Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting & Exposition, where leaders gave the Army a look at the range and scope of what the newly formed company produces and plans to produce. Raytheon Technologies also had a strong showing at the Aviation Week Program Excellence and Laureates awards, including recognition for programs and employees from all four businesses.

Supporting our communities

Raytheon Technologies is carrying on the tradition of its heritage companies to support the communities where employees live and work.

In addition to the company’s initiatives to support food security and racial equity, Raytheon Technologies’ community work in 2020 included continued support for STEM education, with the company sponsoring the Invention Convention and helping conduct a two-week virtual camp with Girls Who Code. Raytheon Technologies also awarded a $4 million grant to the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering, the state’s only fully public, residential high school.

And in continued support of military members, veterans and their families, the company underscored how the skills obtained by veterans are a good fit for its workforce, and partnered with the Metro D.C. USO to provide Turkey for Troops during the holiday season. Raytheon Technologies employees also shared secrets to success for military spouses, and showed their support for organizations such as Home Base, which helps veterans cope with physical and psychological wounds of war.