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NAVY SECRETARY VISITS RAYTHEON PLANT, REVIEWS DEFENSE NEEDS

 NAVY SECRETARY VISITS RAYTHEON PLANT, REVIEWS DEFENSE NEEDS
 PORTSMOUTH, R.I., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Navy Secretary Sean O'Keefe, appearing at Raytheon Company's (NYSE: RTN) Submarine Signal Division facility for talks with senior company officials, today cited research, development, and maintenance programs as ongoing needs for the U.S. Navy in the face of current and projected defense cuts.
 Secretary O'Keefe, accompanied by Rhode Island Congressman Ronald Machtley, said, "There will be a continuing need for the kind of technical expertise available at plants like Raytheon's Portsmouth facility."
 The secretary declared that, while "we must reconcile the fact that we already have 85 attack submarines in the field, we do want to bridge the gap between the current budget wind-down and the time, early in the next decade, when we'll need to replace our fleet."
 Addressing the same subject, Daniel A. Curran, marketing manager for the Raytheon division, said U.S. industry needs "a level playing field" in order to be competitive in the global marketplace. As an example, he cited the need to ease some of the administrative burdens of doing business with foreign countries.
 Curran said modifications to existing submarines like the Los Angeles 688 Class "will help keep our industrial base busy."
 But he said facilities like the Portsmouth plant also need government initiatives like export financing guarantees and the end of recoupment fees (whereby contractors must pay the government when selling a product originally financed through a government through a U.S. contract) "to maintain our international marketing base" in the face of stiff competition from countries like the U.K., France, and Germany, which currently enjoy strong government support.
 Congressman Machtley said the morning conference with Raytheon officials focused on key Submarine Signal programs and on "ways to keep (the facility) level loaded."
 Secretary O'Keefe observed, "We can't predict what will occur during the next decade, but it won't be a high rate of construction. Rather, we'll be looking at the most efficient ways to maintain our technology.
 "We will need to operate a 100-ship submarine fleet, including Tridents, for the next 25 to 30 years, and we will need to maintain them over that period."
 -0- 10/26/92
 /CONTACT: Dick Sherman of Raytheon, 617-860-2412/
 (RTN) CO: Raytheon Company ST: Rhode Island, Massachusetts IN: ARO SU:


CN -- NE025 -- 5036 10/26/92 16:53 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 26, 1992
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