On first blush, two new major merger and acquisition (M&A) announcements in aerospace and defense seem to herald the dawn of unprecedented growth and opportunity in the sector. Or perhaps it marks a grasping for growth ahead of the looming specter of tougher times. On Oct. 14, Harris Corp. and L3 Technologies announced they would meld in a “merger of equals” to form the sixth-largest U.S. defense contractor, with a combined annual revenue of $16 billion. The all-stock deal ...

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