A version of this article appears in the September 22 issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology. Parting is such sweet sorrow, William Shakespeare once wrote, but not so in the U.S. aerospace and defense industry. This was the year that strategic merger and acquisition (M&A) activity was supposed to pick up in earnest after being pushed off by the 2008 financial crisis, slow economic recovery and drawdown of U.S. wars abroad. Catalysts included the record airliner backlog at Airbus ...

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