Raytheon is essentially a missile supermarket. It sells Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, Maverick air-to-ground missiles, Patriot surface-to-air missiles, Tomahawk submarine-launched cruise missiles and other kinds of deadly projectiles. The company also supplies the Pentagon with science-fiction-sounding weapons such as the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle and Kinetic Energy Interceptors as well as a variety of the electronic components that are so prevalent in modern warfare.
Raytheon made its name producing radar systems during the Second World War. After the war and for the following five decades, the company tried its hand at numerous civilian businesses such as computers, semiconductors, microwave ovens, textbook publishing, and small airplanes, but it eventually dropped out of them all and now focuses virtually all its attention on serving military customers. Thanks to a series of acquisitions in the 1990s and a steady stream of new contracts, it is now one of the largest Pentagon contractors. At the end of 2007 it had a $30 billion federal contract backlog.