The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear the 19-year-old legal case pitting the US government against Boeing and General Dynamics over the Pentagon’s termination of the Navy’s A-12 stealth fighter, reports Bloomberg news wire service. The Navy canceled the program in 1991, claiming that GD and McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) were not meeting their contractual obligations. The government has sought the return of $1.35 billion in payments, plus the substantial interest that has accrued over the years as the parties have battled this case in the courts. The companies argue that the Pentagon’s refusal to share stealth technology caused delays. Further, they maintain that they have been constrained from mounting a proper defense due to the government’s refusal to disclose certain information to protect state secrets. Most recently, a federal appeals court sided with the government.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.