Raytheon's $1 billion contract to deliver 574 advanced targeting pods to the US Navy may emerge unscathed from an internal review by an expert panel tasked with studying other options.

John Young, assistant secretary of the navy, plans to take no final action on the panel's findings for several weeks, the service says. So far, the navy has ordered 151 Raytheon advanced targeting forward looking infrared (ATFLIR) pods.

The panel is believed to have made no recommendations for action, concluding only that the navy has three competitive options for its advanced targeting requirement. Lockheed Martin produces the Sniper XR third-generation targeting pod, which is used by the US Air Force, and Northrop Grumman is supplying the Litening AT targeting pod to the US Air National Guard and US Marine Corps.

But the report notes that Boeing, maker of the navy's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, suggests the ATFLIR is the only pod that is fully integrated on the fighter, a 24-48 month process for another pod. Raytheon ATFLIR programme manager Dave Goold says the company would be able to complete its delivery programme by the end of that time period.

Source: Flight International