You wouldn’t know it from reading the headlines, but the aerospace and defense industry turned in a strong performance in 2011. A new forecast released last week by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) projects that sales will end the year at $218 billion, up 3.5% from 2010. U.S. contractors are expected to see sales of military aircraft rise 7%, civil aircraft grow by 3% and missiles and space increase by 2% each. “It’s not as bad as we expected,” says Bill Chadwick, research director ...

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