Navy Bills

Screwdriver: $780 or $45

For years, weapons makers have often charged the Navy—and the Army and the Air Force—exorbitant prices for even the simplest of spare parts. But goaded by horror stories in the press, the military has begun to crack down. The latest list of examples was announced last week by Secretary of the Navy John Lehman.

For a small screwdriver used to adjust gyroscopes, General Electric had charged the Navy $780 apiece. New price: $45. For a rubber nose pad on a torpedo, Aerojet-General had charged the Navy $381. New price: $7.50....

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