Raytheon sees Pentagon protecting new weapons programs

WASHINGTON, April 25 Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:20am EDT

WASHINGTON, April 25 (Reuters) - Raytheon Co Chief Executive William Swanson on Thursday said he expected top Pentagon leaders to try to protect programs to develop new weapons despite additional budget cuts that took effect on March 1.

Swanson told defense analysts that he recently raised concerns that new program "starts" could suffer in the current budget climate with Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, but received assurances that Pentagon leaders understood the importance of continuing to develop new technologies.

Swanson said Raytheon was well-prepared to deal with the additional budget cuts that took effect March 1, which he described as "a speed bump .. that we think we forecasted correctly."

He said he was confident that the company would achieve its full-year revenue outlook despite the expected decline in U.S. bookings associated with the additional budget cuts. "If the international comes in stronger, that's even better," he said, referring to the company's current forecast of a one-to-one book to bill ratio.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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