THIS DEFENSE contractor remains trusted by the U.S. government despite a number of actions for overbilling and providing false information. For example, Northrop pleaded guilty in 1990 to 34 counts of providing false statements to the government during its work on the Air Launched Cruise Missile and Navy Harrier Jet programs. The guilty plea was the culmination of pervasive management and production problems that also dominated Northrop's work on the MX missile program.

By the time the company delivered its first Internal Measurement Unit (IMU) for the MX missile in May 1986, 203 days late, the company had been rated “marginal” in an Air Force audit. The House Armed Services Committee reported that Northrop falsely certified that parts met specifications, billed the government for its own ...

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