Officials of Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems are again praising Rep. Martha McSally’s aim.

This time it isn’t the retired Air Force’s colonel’s performance in a cockpit, but instead her targeting of an amendment on the House floor.

Missile Systems’ President Taylor Lawrence said the freshman congresswoman killed the amendment that would have hurt the company’s ability to build the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, known as the AMRAAM.

Taking the stage at a town hall with Raytheon employees on Thursday, McSally said fighting the proposal ranks as one of her favorite moments since taking office.

“I had one of my most satisfying moments on the floor of the House a few weeks ago,” she told the crowd.

Labeling it a “very bad amendment,” McSally explained how the measure sought to require defense contractors to have two production sources when key parts, in this case a rocket motor, are supplied by a third party.

Raytheon shifted suppliers several years ago to a Norway-based supplier after a domestic supplier began to have some quality control issues, McSally said.

“Thankfully our NATO partner Norway came on board to support the program and keep the AMRAAM program on track,” she said.

The amendment could have delayed production of new missiles as a second party was brought on board and certified, she said.

Behind the scenes, McSally said, the fight to pass the legislation turned ugly.

She called the political back and forth a “knife fight,” noting she went to the floor to push back on the proposal.

The measure was defeated by two votes, she said.

McSally also took a handful of questions from the audience at the end of the town hall, but sidestepped a question on which presidential candidate would be best in terms of protecting national security.

The Tucson Republican instead said she is focusing on her own race in Congressional District 2, where Democrats Victoria Steele and Matt Heinz also are running.

Reporter Joe Ferguson can be reached at or 573-4197. On Twitter: JoeFerguson