P.M. BRIEFING : Pentagon to Pay Full Arms Costs

From Times wire services

The Pentagon plans to begin paying the full cost of national weapons development, a major shift that could save defense contractors billions of dollars a year, defense officials said today.

The officials confirmed remarks made by Deputy Defense Secretary Donald Atwood in an interview with the Washington Post. Atwood said the department will make the recommendation to the White House as part of a Pentagon management review.

No specific dollar savings for industry were announced. Under a practice begun by the Ronald Reagan Administration, many defense companies pay up to 50% of the cost of developing specific weapons.

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