April 5, 2010 |
NASA has taken the next small step toward reshaping its future in space travel by awarding five contracts worth as much as $250 million to aerospace companies for researching and developing propulsion systems. Although NASA hasn't laid out how it will use such technology, officials from the contract winners -- three of which are based in California -- say they envision their work being used on a broad range of missions: sending research equipment deep into space; building thrust engines for robotic Mars landers; or developing boosters for spacecraft to explore far-flung asteroids.
December 2, 2009 |
Northrop Grumman Corp. has stepped up its threat to pull out of a $35-billion competition to build aerial refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force. In a letter to the Pentagon's top acquisition official Tuesday, Northrop President Wes Bush said the government's "request for proposal" that outlines requirements for the aircraft favors a bid by its rival, Boeing Co. If the terms are not changed, Northrop might not enter the competition to build 179 tankers, he said. "I must regrettably inform you that, absent a responsive set of changes in the final RFP, Northrop Grumman has determined that it cannot submit a bid," Bush said.
October 22, 2009 |
Northrop Grumman Corp. on Wednesday said it posted lower third-quarter profit because of higher pension expenses, but the results surpassed analysts' expectations and the company lifted its profit outlook for the year. In contrast, Boeing Co. said it lost $1.6 billion in the quarter, hurt by growing costs of two troubled plane programs that forced the airplane maker to slash its profit forecast. The world's second-largest commercial plane maker after Europe's Airbus, Boeing has struggled to launch its 787 passenger jet and a revamped version of its classic 747 jumbo jet. Production delays, parts shortages and last-minute fixes have cost the company billions in write-downs along with additional design and manufacturing expenses.
August 20, 2009 |
Northrop Grumman Corp. is selling a unit that advises military and intelligence agencies and may fetch as much as $2 billion, four people familiar with the matter said. Northrop hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Credit Suisse Group to solicit bids for the division, known as Tasc, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Among potential buyers are private-equity firms including Carlyle Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Blackstone Group, the people said. The U.S. Defense Department was ordered by Congress this year to tighten conflict-of-interest rules on firms such as Tasc and is pushing to reduce its spending on outside consultants.
July 24, 2009 |
Northrop Grumman Corp.'s second-quarter profit dropped by 20% as the defense contractor said it was hurt by higher pension costs and higher estimates of costs to complete several ships being built in its Gulf Coast yards. The company, which makes military aircraft and defense electronics, said Thursday that it earned $394 million, or $1.21 a share, in the three months ended June 30, down from $495 million, or $1.44, a year earlier. Revenue rose 4% to $8.96 billion.
April 23, 2009 |
Two of the nation's largest aerospace companies reported sharply contrasting first-quarter financial results Wednesday as Boeing Co. said its earnings fell by half while Northrop Grumman Corp. posted a 48% jump in profit. The results reflected the shifting fortunes of the two companies. Boeing, the world's largest maker of commercial aircraft, has been hit hard by a recession-induced slump in air travel that has reduced demand for new planes.