Military: Contracts Battle to Defend the Skies

Contracts Battle to Defend the Skies

For three years Northrop has been seeking a buyer for its F-20 Tigershark plane. Developed at a cost of $850 million, the jet fighter has consistently been spurned by the U.S. and foreign governments in favor of General Dynamics' larger F-16 Fighting Falcon. Adding to the Tigershark's woes, two of its three prototypes have crashed since last October.

Northrop has refused to give up. In April the California contractor offered the Air Force 396 Tigersharks for $15 million a plane, vs. the $19.5 million that General Dynamics was asking for the F-16.

General Dynamics last week struck back. The St. Louis-based...

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