Former Navy research chief Melvyn Paisley helped RCA Corp. gain new Pentagon business after the company's role in another big military project was cut back, in what was allegedly a quid pro quo arrangement, according to a published report.

Defense News reported in its July 4 edition that Paisley, who has emerged as a key figure in the ongoing investigation of abuses in the Defense Department's weapons-buying system, brought RCA "into the lucrative submarine electronics business" through a $2.4 billion project then known as the Submarine Advanced Combat System, of SUBACS.Several sources told the newspaper that competition for the project was cosmetic and that RCA had been destined to win. But the newspaper said it was unclear why Paisley, who served at the Pentagon from 1981 through April 1987, helped RCA obtain the SUBACS contract in January 1986.