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Congress fires selfish shots at military contracts

The Air Force loves its F-16 Falcon jet fighter. It is flying 1,225 of the supersonic aircraft, which are efficient in both aerial dogfights and attacking ground targets. An additional 1,299 of the proven planes, built in Fort Worth by General Dynamics, have been bought by 14 nations. So when the Air Force got set to buy 270 more Falcons, who could object?

Only, it seems, Northrop Chairman Thomas Jones, a handful of Congressmen from California, where Northrop is based, and some of Jones' influential friends in the Administration. Congress forced a yearlong simulated "fly- off" between the Falcon and Northrop's...

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