Northrop Grumman’s acquisition of Orbital ATK has appropriately triggered speculation that there will be another round of consolidation in the U.S. defense sector in 2017-20. Recent phases of defense-sector consolidation resulted from different factors. The consolidation in the 1990s started with General Dynamics’ breakup in 1992 and then the Defense Department “Last Supper,” which encouraged sector consolidation. Some of the larger deals in the mid-2000s occurred ...

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