Biting The Bullets

Military suppliers scramble to get ready for the defense build-down

Row upon row, the vast hangars stand empty at Lockheed's 7.9 million-sq.-ft. aircraft assembly plant in Marietta, Ga. Once bustling with workers building such military aircraft as the giant C-5 transport and the P-3 antisubmarine plane, the facility has increasingly fallen idle as Pentagon spending has ebbed. For thousands of U.S. defense contractors, the unused hangars near Atlanta are a portent of what may lie ahead for them. As the cold war wanes and the Warsaw Pact unravels, Congress and the Bush Administration have begun to plan for the most substantial reductions in military spending since the end of the Vietnam...

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