Md. ranks No. 9 in contracts for defense spending

April 20, 1991|By Ted Shelsby

New orders for such things as rocket launchers for use on ships, radars for F-16 fighter planes, communication equipment and Beretta handguns pushed Defense Department spending in Maryland up 13 percent, to $4.38 billion, in the last fiscal year, according to a new Pentagon study.

Maryland moved back into ninth place on the Pentagon's list of the states receiving the highest dollar value of prime contract work. During fiscal 1989, military spending in the state dropped 9.4 percent, to $3.87, billion and Maryland fell to No. 10 on the list.

Total military spending in the state, including the wages of more than 112,000 military and civilian employees, was $7.21 billion last year.

This was up from $6.83 billion in 1989, when there were 116,429 military and civilian employees of the Defense Department in Maryland.

California, the home of many large aerospace, computer and electronics concerns, retained its ranking as the top beneficiary of Pentagon contracts. California contractors received $22.3 billion in awards last year, down 3.6 percent from 1989's $23.12 billion.

Virginia, the home of several large companies that build ships and submarines, fared much better than most states. Despite a shrinking military budget, Virginia picked up $7.92 billion in new prime contract orders last year, up 34 percent over 1989, when contractors there were awarded $5.89 billion in new work.

Virginia jumped from seventh place on the Pentagon list in 1989 to No. 4 last year, behind California, Texas ($9.13 billion) and Massachusetts ($8.17 billion).

The top five defense contractors in Maryland, according to the Pentagon report, are: Westinghouse Electric Corp., the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the Bendix Communication division of Allied-Signal Inc., Martin Marietta Corp. and International Business Machines.

While Westinghouse produces a wide variety of products for the military, it is perhaps best known for the production of radars for the F-16 fighter plane, electronic jammers to protect fighter planes from anti-aircraft fire and missiles, and AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) radars.

APL, the Navy's primary research organization, is based near Columbia and has projects that include the Tomahawk missile, navigation satellites and the Aegis weapons system -- a computerized rapid fire anti-missile system aboard ships.

Allied-Signal, in Towson, is involved in research, development and testing of electronic communications equipment. Martin Marietta builds a rocket-launching system for use on Navy ships. The system can fire the Tomahawk cruise missile as well as other missiles designed to destroy enemy planes and submarines.

International Business Machines' federal sector division, based in Bethesda, makes computerized information-processing equipment used in many operations, including on helicopters. It is also involved in the development of software used in satellite command and control systems.

Top 10 defense-contract states

MA Prime contracts issued by Department of Defense, in billions.

State 1990 .. .. .. .. .. .State 1989

1. California $22.31 .. ..1. California $23.12

2. Texas 9.13 .. .. .. .. 2.Texas 9.26

3. Massachusetts 8.17 .. .3. Massachusetts 8.75

4. Virginia 7.92 .. .. .. 4. New York 6.55

5. New York 6.83 .. .. .. 5. Missouri 6.28

6. Missouri 6.06 .. .. .. 6. Connecticut 6.08

7. Florida 4.88 .. .. .. .7. Virginia 5.89

8. Ohio 4.38 .. .. .. .. .8. Ohio 5.60

9. Maryland 4.38 .. .. .. 9. Florida 4.45

10. Connecticut 4.24 .. ..10. Maryland 3.87

SOURCE: Department of Defense

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