The Army awarded the local Westinghouse Electric Corp. division and Hughes Aircraft Co. a $16.5 million contract yesterday to demonstrate a radar and electro-optical system that will make it easier for M-1 tank gunners to identify and destroy battlefield targets.
The military contract came at the same time the Linthicum-based Electronic Systems division announced the installation of a $10 million ground-based radar system at a commercial airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Workers' attention, however, was diverted from those developments by a rumor at the Linthicum plant that Westinghouse's defense arm was being acquired by New York-based Loral Corp.
Westinghouse usually does not comment on acquisition rumors, but spokesman Jack Martin said yesterday that there is "no truth" to the Loral rumor.
A spokesman for Loral said that company does not comment on acquisition rumors.
Susan Gallagher, an analyst with Nat-West Securities Inc. in New York, discounted the rumor but said she could understand how it might have arisen given that Westinghouse has disclosed that it will sell $1.5 billion to $2 billion in assets to help finance its acquisition of CBS Inc.
Westinghouse, as prime contractor on the target detection system, will be involved in the integration of the millimeter wave radar, electro-optical sensors and software to be used on the Army's main battle tank.
Hughes, a division of General Motors Corp., will be responsible for the laser radar and an infrared system for night operations.