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A Northrop chronology

August 18, 2011

Northrop Grumman Corp., headquartered in Century City, is a conglomeration of nearly two dozen military and aerospace companies, including TRW, Litton and Westinghouse — most of them acquired in the last two decades.

1939: John K. "Jack" Northrop forms a namesake military-aircraft-making company in Hawthorne. He builds its first aircraft, the N-3PB patrol bomber, in 1940.

1946: Jack Northrop designs and builds the first XB-35 flying wing, which would be the basis for the development of the radar-evading B-2 stealth bomber more than 40 years later.

1959: The first Northrop F-5 fighter jet takes flight.

1989: The first radar-evading bomber, the B-2, is secretly developed in Hawthorne and assembled in Palmdale.

1994: Northrop acquires Grumman Corp., maker of the F-6F Hellcat and the F-14 Tomcat fighter jet.

1996: Northrop buys Westinghouse Electric Corp.'s military and electronics business.

1997: Logicon Corp., developer of an automated mail-sorting system for the U.S. Postal Service, is acquired.

1999: Northrop buys Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical, the developer of the high-altitude, long-range Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance and surveillance plane.

2001: Litton Industries, a developer of aircraft navigation systems and a military shipbuilder, is acquired.

2001: Northrop buys Newport News Shipbuilding, a maker of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines.

2002: Northrop acquires TRW's aerospace business, which makes satellites, space telescopes and laser weapons.

2010: Wesley G. Bush, a former TRW executive, takes over as chief executive in January. On his first day on the job, he announces that Northrop's headquarters is being moved out of Los Angeles.

2011: Northrop moves corporate headquarters and about 300 workers to Falls Church, Va. An estimated 30,000 employees remain in Southern California — making fuselage sections for the F-35 stealth fighter, updating the B-2 stealth bombers and building the next generation of drone aircraft.

Source: Times reporting

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