Arizona plays an important part in our national defense. Thursday night the President spotlighted a defense manufacturer that is a leading part of our regions economy.

The weapons Raytheon makes in Tucson are so widely used around the world it should be no surprise they are used in Israel and Ukraine. In his speech Thursday night President Biden called out Arizonas role in creating those products.

Speaking from the White House Oval Office, President Biden said, And let me be clear about something: We send Ukraine equipment sitting in our stockpiles. And when we use the money allocated by Congress, we use it to replenish our own stores our own stockpiles with new equipment equipment that defends America and is made in America: Patriot missiles for air defense batteries made in Arizona; artillery shells manufactured in 12 states across the country in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas; and so much more.

When Biden talks about Patriot Missiles from Arizona, hes talking about an anti aircraft system made here by Raytheon.

Raytheon also works with Israel to build a different air defense system called Iron Dome.

They are just a sample of Raytheon systems in the Mid East and Ukraine.

Thursday a US Navy Destroyer shot down missiles headed from Yemen towards Israel. The warship used SM-2 missiles also made by Raytheon.

In Ukraine Raytheon anti tank weapons have been critical against Russian armored vehicles. Weapons like the TOW anti tank missile and the Javelin anti tank missile made jointly with Lockheed Martin.

Demand for those systems and many other radars and missiles helped make Raytheon the largest private employer in Southern Arizona with about 12 thousand employeesmost of them doing very sophisticated work at high pay.