Defense: Litton's Ships Come In

Like most conglomerates, once-glamorous Litton Industries has been struggling through troubled times lately. But last week the company regained some of its old luster by snaring one of the biggest defense awards in history—a $2.1 billion Navy contract to build 30 destroyers. The vessels will be constructed during the next eight years by Litton's Ingalls Shipbuilding Division at Pascagoula, Miss.

Litton has been fighting for that contract for three long years. The company first persuaded the Mississippi legislature to vote a controversial $130 million tax-exempt bond issue to build the most...

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