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Graphic: Boeing was top U.S. manufacturer of missiles and munitions delivered to Israel from 2021-2023

caption: Collage of Boeing aircraft and JDAM munitions against graph background. Photo courtesy of US Air Force and taken by Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller.
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Collage of Boeing aircraft and JDAM munitions against graph background. Photo courtesy of US Air Force and taken by Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller.

As Seattle students protest Boeing’s ties to Israel, demanding that their schools sever ties with the company, we wondered, what is the extent of Boeing’s connection to Israel?

Significant, it turns out.

Boeing made the most guided bombs and munitions delivered to Israel of any U.S. company from 2021-2023, followed closely behind by Lockheed Martin.

The pressure to create space with Israel isn’t coming from just students. The Biden Administration paused a delivery last week of Boeing-made bombs and munitions to Israel over its policy in Gaza, according to Politico.

Boeing is one of several U.S. companies that designs and manufactures weapons for the United States and its allies. Boeing has delivered weapons to Israel through commercial deals approved by the U.S. government—like a $735 million deal in 2021—and through standard U.S. military contracts.

From 2021 to the end of 2023, the U.S. delivered an estimated 5,214 missiles to Israel—nearly 3,000 of which were Boeing's GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs. (A special variant of the GBU-39 was recently delivered to Ukraine.)

An estimated 3,000 Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) were also delivered to Israel during this time period. JDAMs are not standalone bombs—rather, they’re kits consisting of a tail and navigation that convert free-fall bombs into “smart” bombs that can be guided to a target. Boeing refers to them as “near-precision” weapons.

Boeing has built more than half a million JDAMs since production started in 1998. Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, Rockwell, and other companies also have contributed to JDAM production.

A recent report from Amnesty International alleges that in at least five strikes in the last year, Israel used Boeing’s Small Diameter Bombs and JDAMs in violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, leading to the death of over 100 civilians in Gaza.

The company is also under contract to deliver four KC-46A Pegasus aircraft in upcoming years. In 2023, two other Boeing aircraft were selected for upcoming orders: the Boeing F-15 Advanced Eagle aircraft and the Apache combat helicopter.

While exact numbers are murky and disputed—with no definitive and updated record of arms transfers to Israel available to the public—Boeing itself says in a 2020 fact sheet that nine different Boeing products are currently operated by Israeli Defense Forces, including fighter jets and combat helicopters.

Boeing and the U.S. Department of Defense declined to comment for this story. The Israeli Ministry of Defense did not respond to a request for comment.

Where did these numbers come from?

The arms transfer information in this article comes from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's (SIPRI) arms transfer database, U.S. Air Force fact sheets, and Boeing’s historical and weapons fact sheets on Small Diameter Bombs and JDAMs.

The SIPRI database only includes “major weapons.” It does not include small arms and light weapons. Sources often provide only partial information for the database, and substantial disagreement between them is common. The information presented above is from 2021 through 2023. The database also does not provide manufacturer information.

To identify the manufacturer of weapons, KUOW compared the weapons listed in the SIPRI database to U.S. Department of Defense contract press releases, foreign military sales announcements, U.S. Air Force weapons fact sheets, and Boeing weapons fact sheets.

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