Thursday, April 29, 2004

Raytheon in Derry...out Derry

The Derry News recently reported on the arms manufacturer Raytheon and their role in Derry. I thought I'd publish an extract from it sent on by Angela Hegarty spokesperson for the Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign. The issue is important. Paddy McGuffin wrote in the Derry News, that the SDLP in Derry has "called on Raytheon to publicly declare the nature of the work they are conducting in the city, after former workers at the plant disclosed that they had developed military software at the firm’s Springtown plant. The workers have given signed statements to the Derry News acknowledging that they personally worked on technology for the MoD and the US Defence Department, and on guidance and monitoring technology for missile systems. They say that work was done here on Identification Friend or Foe (IFFs) systems ­ which are used to detect and destroy unrecognised missiles, and which were widely used in the recent war on Iraq. They admitted that they had worked on projects developing software for military spy-planes and claimed that the bulk of all Raytheon’s work in Derry was military-related. Widespread concern has been expressed over these allegations...Raytheon Systems Limited ­ one of the world’s leading defence companies came to Derry in 2000. But the company gave Foyle MP John Hume strict assurances that the only work to be conducted here would be on commercial projects - such as air-traffic control systems. Earlier this year Derry City Council pledged that, should it be revealed that Raytheon were doing defence work in the city, they would no longer be welcome. And anti-war campaigners said last night that it was now time for the Council to take action". Needless to say Raytheon has declined to comment, the article goes on. Hopefully the anti-Raytheon Campaigners who have fought this issue tirelessly will be rewarded. The Raytheon site is also worth looking at, it speaks volumes..."Customer success is our Mission" it states. Disturbing when your primary customer is the US military...