Grand Jury Studying Hughes Optics in Arms

Times Staff Writer

Hughes Aircraft is the target of a federal grand jury investigation into the quality and delivery of mirrors that it uses in cruise missile guidance systems and in a weapons sight for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the company said Thursday.

The existence of the grand jury investigation, which is being conducted in Boston, was disclosed in the firm’s annual 10K report to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Hughes said it “has been advised that it is a target of the investigation” and is cooperating with the grand jury.

The Los Angeles-based aerospace firm said the grand jury recently subpoenaed records involving Hughes’ relationship with the supplier of the mirrors, Borjohn Optical Group in Burlington, Mass. The mirrors are made of highly polished metal and are supplied to Hughes’ Electro-Optical Data Systems Group in El Segundo.

In a statement issued Thursday, Hughes said the investigation is still in its early stages and that the company is conducting its own review.


“Based on that review, we will vigorously defend against any criminal charges relating to the circumstances behind the delivery and quality of the two missile guidance systems,” the company said.

A company spokesman said Donald J. Atwood Jr, formerly president of GM Hughes Electronics, the GM subsidiary that includes Hughes, had no involvement in program. Atwood has been nominated for deputy secretary of defense and is awaiting confirmation.

A different federal grand jury investigation that surfaced last year into possible mischarging by Hughes for TOW missiles has completed its investigation.