HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – In the futuristic Raytheon Alabama factory, robotic vehicles glide silently across gleaming plant floors, transporting nose cones and other missile parts to the precise spots where they are needed for assembly.
The $75 million Raytheon Redstone Missile Integration Facility in Huntsville, however, is not simply a marvel of technological design. The 70,000-square-foot facility — one of the newest stars in Alabama’s aerospace constellation — produces weapons that are considered key components of the U.S. missile defense plan.
In late May 2013, the Hunstville factory delivered its first Standard Missile-3, a defensive weapon used to destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missiles, according to Raytheon. It also produces the larger Standard Missile-6, a ship-defense interceptor used by the U.S. and Japanese Navies to defend against aircraft, drones and cruise missiles.