There's the story, for example, from the early World War II era of how Raytheon’s brilliant chief engineer, Percy Spencer, figured out how to mass produce magnetrons, the heart of radar, which were desperately needed for the war effort. The breakthrough transformed a company best known for radio tubes into one that became synonymous with complex radar and guidance systems. Another system, the shipboard SG radar, is credited with helping secure victory at sea.
While the defense work continued after the war – notably with the guided Lark missiles that made a historic intercept of a drone target in flight – the postwar era kicked off a period of expansion and diversification for Raytheon Company. At the fore was another Spencer innovation; one day he approached a magnetron and realized the candy bar in his pocket was melting. The result was the world's first microwave oven. Raytheon Company named it the Radarange, and suddenly, the company was in the appliance business. This renewal also saw commercial ventures in educational textbook publishing, petroleum exploration, industrial construction and the aircraft business.
Raytheon Company made major contributions to the 20th century's signature technological achievement by providing the computer that guided the Apollo 11 astronauts to the moon. Other parts of today’s Raytheon Technologies supported that mission as well, contributing communications equipment, fuel cells, environmental controls and spacesuits.
At the end of the Cold War, Raytheon Company shifted strategy once again, developing world-renowned defense, security and aerospace systems such as the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System; early-warning, phased array radars that have helped keep the peace; the Standard Missile-3 that rose to intercept a failing satellite; and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite producing the highest-resolution composite Earth image.
The company accomplished this feat of continual innovation by attracting and retaining talent, by encouraging diversity of thought and new ideas, and also by acquiring businesses such as E-Systems, Texas Instruments Defense and Hughes Defense. These and other like-minded technology organizations added their own rich heritage of innovation, from use of the first network email and the “@” sign as part of an email address to world-class expertise in cybersecurity.