Orange County Firms to Bear Large Share of U.S. Spending Cutbacks

Researched by ELENA BRUNET / Los Angeles Times

Even as troops in the Persian Gulf rain smart bombs and laser-guided warheads on Iraqi forces, the United States is preparing to slash spending on weapons. The 1992 budget proposal submitted by President Bush calls for a 21% cut in Defense Department procurement, and the Democrats in Congress are likely to seek further reductions.

While the long-term impact of Operation Desert Storm on defense firms remains unclear, a report issued by the state of California last summer projected that total defense spending in the state would be reduced a total of 22% between 1990 and 1996. Orange County, where per capita defense spending is second in the Southland only to that of Los Angeles County, is likely to bear a significant share of any such cuts.

Already, contract awards to the top 10 defense firms in the county have fallen 14.9% from fiscal 1987 to fiscal 1989. The cutbacks have been made largely at the expense of the four biggest firms: Hughes Aircraft, Rockwell International, McDonnell Douglas and Ford Aerospace (now Loral Aerospace), which collectively saw their contract awards shrink by $213 million.

ORANGE COUNTY’S TOP 10 Fiscal 1989 Prime Contract Awards General Motors Corp.: $764.5 (in millions) Hughes Aircraft Corp. High-tech electronic components, defense systems,


radar, sonar and battlefield communications systems. Rockwell International Corp.: 735.4 (in millions) Satellite & Space Electronics Division Navstar global positioning system. Autonetics Electronics Systems Sophisticated components and systems for military

navigation and communication; guidance systems for

strategic nuclear missiles; Hellfire antitank missile. McDonnell Douglas Corp.: 649.4 (in millions) Systems Integration Division

Computer and communications systems.


Space Systems Division

Space stations; Delta-launch vehicles; mission planning

and payload integration services for the space shuttle.

Ford Motor Co.: 106.5 (in millions) Ford Aerospace Corp. Guided missiles and systems; space and missile propulsion


units; military satellites; tactical weapons and

military command, control and communications systems. Figgie International Inc.: 94.7 (in millions) Interstate Electronics Corp.

Range testing for Trident missiles; global positioning

equipment used for determining position, location,


velocity; flat-panel and other high-tech display screens;

communications technology for satellite ground station. Parker Hannifin Corp.: 53.6 (in millions) Parker Bertea Aerospace Group

Flight control systems components; fuel pressurization,

temperature and vent systems, in-flight refueling receptacles


and nozzles; hydraulic control modules and nose-wheel steering

systems; aircraft fire suppression systems and missile

propulsion control valves.

Northrop Corp.: 43.2 (in millions) Aircraft Division, Anaheim facility


Airframe sub-assembly and fuselage components. Brunswick Corp.: 35.3 (in millions) Brunswick Defense Division

Manufacture of TALD, tactical air-launched decoy; fire-detection

and suppression units for space vehicles; filters and fuel

management systems for aircraft and space vehicles. All-Bann Enterprises Inc.: 24.4 (in millions)


Fuel- and water-pumping equipment. Cartwright Electronics Inc.: 17.4 (in millions)

Electronic scoring systems for testing the accuracy of missiles

or projectiles and other electronic warfare systems. Per Capita Defense Contract Awards Los Angeles: $1,345.5 Orange: 1,272.7 San Diego: 940.0 Ventura: 903.6 San Bernardino: 566.3 Riverside: 90.3 Statewide Share of Defense Contracts

County Pct. of State Total Los Angeles 45.4 Santa Clara 16.7 Orange 11.3 San Diego 9.0 San Bernardino 3.0 Santa Barbara 2.4 Ventura 2.3


Total Awards to Top 10 Contractors in Orange County 1987--$2.82 billion 1988--$2.46 billion 1989--$2.40 billion