UPDATE 1-Raytheon ordered to stop work on U.S. Navy jammer contract
* Raytheon says "very comfortable" about holding onto deal
* CEO says Navy official very thorough in evaluation
* BAE Systems filed protest last week
WASHINGTON, July 25 (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy has told Raytheon Co to stop work on a next-generation electronic jamming system contract the company won on July 8, after BAE Systems Plc formally protested the contract award.
Raytheon Chief Executive William Swanson, disclosing the stop-work order on Thursday, told analysts his company was "very comfortable" about its prospects for holding onto the contract.
He said Navy acquisition officials were very thorough in deciding contract awards and generally prevailed in any protest actions.
"And this is not a competition that happened overnight," Swanson said. "We feel very comfortable in their selection. Of course, we're biased, but we feel comfortable."
BAE last week filed a formal protest against the Navy's decision to award Raytheon a $279 million contract for the next-generation electronic jamming system, a deal that analysts say could be worth billions of dollars in coming years.
The system will be used on EA-18G Growler aircraft.
BAE spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said BAE decided to lodge a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office because it had "concerns with the Navy's evaluation of our offering." He did not elaborate.
Navy officials have not commented on the BAE protest.