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Stealth Response

March 13, 1988

The Feb. 10 article on the U.S. Air Force's Advanced Technology Bomber, "Northrop Job Cuts May Signal Slowdown on Stealth Program," contained inaccurate information on LTV Aircraft Products Group.

Times staff writer Ralph Vartabedian alleged in the story that LTV, a member of the Northrop team on the program, has had configuration control problems and that the Air Force has been forced to suspend some operations at our Dallas facility.

Despite the corroboration of "two industry sources," these allegations are not true. The facts are that LTV has experienced no configuration control problems on the ATB program, no "configuration audit" team from the government has been sent to the plant and no suspension of operations has taken place.

We are bound by security restrictions in discussing the ATB program and therefore are sometimes at the mercy of unidentified sources with questionable motives. In this case, your sources are dead wrong. In the future we would encourage you to evaluate information from them more critically.



The writer is director of public relations and advertising for LTV Aircraft Products Group.

Editor's Note: LTV was asked prior to publication of the story to respond to questions by The Times. It declined to make any statement about the bomber, citing the secrecy of the program. The two industry sources, who are at the executive level, stand by the information they provided to The Times.

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