During her final days in office, former U.S. Air Force acquisition chief Sue Payton fired off a letter to Northrop Grumman saying she was “increasingly concerned” about the company’s management of the Global Hawk high-altitude unmanned aerial system program. Payton’s April 7 letter to Gary Ervin, president of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, outlines a series of problems that had contributed to her concerns, including: “poor design, workmanship and failure to follow production ...

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