Missile Defense Agency Will Fight Parts Defects

November 29, 2011

U.S. missile defense contractors for the first time will be held financially responsible for poor- quality parts, such as those that have caused failures and delays to multimillion-dollar tests, according to documents and congressional testimony.

A new "Contractor Accountability For Quality" clause will be included in the Missile Defense Agency's contract for ground- based missile defense development and sustainment. Boeing Co. (BA) of Chicago is pitted against Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) of Bethesda, Maryland, for the potential $600 million-a-year contract.

The contract may be awarded as soon as tomorrow or next week. It will be the first to include the provision, the Missile Defense Agency told the Senate Armed Services Committee in correspondence that was not publicly released. 

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