WALTHAM, Mass. ( TheStreet) -- Raytheon ( RTN) Vice President Jon Jones, president of Space and Airborne Systems, died over the weekend of an apparent heart attack. He was 55.

Jon Jones
Jon Jones

Jones joined Raytheon in 1977 and rose through the ranks. He was appointed president of El Segundo, Calif.-based SAS in 2005. The division employs 13,000 people worldwide and designs and manufactures avionics and sensors for military aircraft. Jones was also executive diversity champion for Raytheon.

"Jon was a valued contributor to Raytheon for 33 years, an outstanding leader within our company, industry and community, and a dear friend," said CEO William Swanson, in a prepared statement. "He was a wonderful innovator who guided numerous programs of the utmost importance to our men and women in uniform."

Jones received a bachelor's degree in engineering from California State University, Northridge, and later attended UCLA, where he received a master's degree in engineering management.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C. .