The Military: Complaints About Quality

"Loose screws, exposed wires and improper soldering." These were among the defects cited by the Defense Department in three of its most important missile systems, all of them made by Hughes Aircraft Co., in Tucson. Last week the Pentagon said it would stop $38 million in progress payments to the company in what may be the most sweeping crackdown on a military supplier in recent history.

The Navy was the first to complain, declaring in July that its Phoenix air-to-air missiles, being supplied by Hughes at close to $1 million apiece, showed evidence...

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