Some of America’s most deeply held secrets may have been stolen in a disciplined, monthslong operation being blamed on elite Russian government hackers. The possibilities of what might have been purloined are mind-boggling. Could hackers have obtained nuclear secrets? COVID-19 vaccine data? Blueprints for next-generation weapons systems? It will take weeks, maybe years in some cases, for digital sleuths combing through.
Scale: United Technologies already was a big player in defense before the merger, thanks to the defense electronics work of Collins Aerospace and the growing military footprint of engine-maker Pratt & Whitney. Raytheon was one of the biggest military contractors in the world, selling missiles and sensors to all U.S. military branches and many overseas allies.
Raytheon traces its origins to the dawn of home radio in the 1920s, and it too grew into an industrial conglomerate (Amana radar ranges among other lines) before bulking up on defense at the end of the Cold War. Its defense portfolio eventually included the products of such legendary military contractors as Hughes Aircraft and E-Systems, while its commercial lines were sold off.