Regardless of how you may feel about America’s military industrial complex, chances are some items in your home we’re made by the same companies that makes drones and fighter jets.Fact is, many defence contractors make a bunch of other stuff and you probably never would have guessed the companies that make simple things like the items here also make advanced weapon systems.
Here are eleven items that you probably own that were probably made by weapons contractors.
Most of the cans in your house -- whether they contain Coca Cola, peas, or beer -- were probably manufactured by the nation's largest producer of cans of all sizes, Ball Incorporated.
They're also into plastics.
Ball also manufactures a huge amount of aerospace components -- gimbles, lasers, cameras, and a ton of sensors -- that can be found throughout everything in the defence industry from the Predator drone to high flying space gear.
Or a Scooba? The robotic vacuum for your pool? They're extremely capable devices from iRobot, and they're only going to get more complex.
But consumer electronics isn't iRobot's only market.
iRobot also manufactures lots of robots for military and police use. They have a strong line of remotely operated robotics that help out with everything from reconnaissance to bomb disposal.
Sure, your Roomba can take out dust bunnies and the occasional runaway Dorito. But here's your vacuum's big brother, the iRobot Warrior, disposing of heavy ordnance.
Texas Instruments' line of graphing calculators -- a phenomena in and of themselves, with the ability to stay the same price over two decades -- are just one of the civilian projects from Texas Instruments.
TI is also one of the three big semiconductor manufacturers, which probably means that more of their stuff is inside more of your electronics on chips.
Texas Instruments used to have a whole sector devoted to military radar systems, laser guided missile parts, and guidance systems. That sector of their business goes back to the fifties.
When the industry was consolidating in the late nineties, TI sold its missile tech businesses to defence giant Raytheon, the largest missile producer in the world.
Dunkin' doughnuts and Baskin Robins?
As a matter of fact, DD and BR are involved in the defence business. At least their parent is. Both of those firms are owned in whole by the Private Equity Carlyle Group.
The Carlyle Group is a Private Equity firm that's really involved in the defence business. With connections to former presidents and high powered business, this PE firm is well-poised to get into the government contracting business.
The Carlyle Group has owned pieces of dozens of defence and aerospace companies in their time, and two of the big current holdings are Combined Systems Inc., which produces riot gear and less-lethal weapons, and a majority stake in Booz Allen Hamilton, the government contractor which does an incredible amount of federal consulting.
You probably don't own a golf cart personally*, but if you hit the course often enough you're probably more than familiar with the EZ-GO golf carts.
You may also own tools made by Paladin or Greenlee.
All of those are divisions of TEXTRON, which does have some other interests.
*But you might, that's a thing in some neighborhoods.
TEXTRON also owns Bell Helicopter, which is involved in all sorts of military tech ranging from the Apache helicopter to a part of the Bell-Boeing Osprey.
If you have a DC SmarTrip card for the metro, or a SmartLink card for the NY-NJ Port Authority, or any similar tap-and-go card in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Berlin, or a whole bunch of other cities, you may have tech made by the Cubic Corporation in your wallet right now.
Cubic also manufactures all the ticketing machines and gates as well, too.
Cubic goes back to the fifties when it comes to the development of devices which track-- in an immensely in-depth manner -- data from jet flights, used in training and tracking.
Air Combat manoeuvring Instruments (ACMI) relay an equipped jet's location back to the radio control tower in three dimensions, and help track, monitor, and instruct pilots in flight.
Or any Heating, Ventilation and Cooling device made by Carrier?
Carrier makes refrigerators too and commercial A/Cs, so if you don't have one in your home you might have one at work. Carrier is owned by United Technologies Corp.
UTC is a huge player in the defence industry, owning two very prominent brands.
Pratt and Whitney is a company which makes the engines that power the F-22 and the F-35.
UTC also owns Sikorsky, which makes a number of helicopters for both civilian and military uses.
You almost certainly have something by Honeywell in your home. The manufacturer is very involved in home and consumer electronics.
Honeywell is famous -- or infamous, depending on who you ask -- for their military tech. The company manufactured cluster bombs, napalm and landmines during the war in Vietnam. They also made cockpit controls.
They spun off those business into Alliant Technology Systems, though.
But they're still involved in national defence in some ways. Honeywell is a major part of the Pantex nuclear system, where old nuclear missiles are decommissions and prepped for civilian use or destruction.
Is there anything that General Electric doesn't make*?
GE was the sixth largest firm by revenue in 2011. They make microwaves, light bulbs, cameras, railroads, robots, and appliances of all kinds.
They also generate a lot of the electricity to power those devices. GE Capital may even have your 401k.
They're the quintessential conglomerate.
*Besides, after the sale to Comcast, NBC programming.
...and what's a conglomerate without a decent defence wing?
GE makes aircraft engines, and with Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney, is part of the top three aircraft engine manufacturers in the world.
General Electric engines -- besides being in plenty of Boeing commercial aircraft -- power the MH-60M Black Hawk, the C-5 Galaxy, the F-4 Phantom, the Super Hornet, the F-16, the B-2, the U-2, and Marine One, the President's helicopter.
If you have a printer, laptop, camera, or really any device from tech giant Hewlett-Packard, you're just like the Department of defence.
The Department of defence has large contracts with HP to coordinate their vast amounts of digital technology. They also work with Dell a lot too.
It might be expected, but the military is most definitely a PC, not a Mac.
HP coordinates a lot of the Department's tech support as well. They're one of the relatively few Silicon Alley giants with a close relationship with the Pentagon.
Really, any mobile phone.
It doesn't really matter whether your plan is Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint. They're all defence contractors.
Each of those companies has a long history of providing coverage for the department of defence, often with the closest thing to carte blanche that the defence Department does.
Because what it comes down to is, even the Department of defence has to have a yearly contract.
The Department will make a contract with the companies -- taking numbers from recent years -- up to $100 million for their cell phone bill.
Nextel, a division of Sprint now, has a long relationship with the defence Department going back to the early nineties.
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