Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Litton Industries

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1953 Charles Bates Tex Thornton founded Electro-Dynamics Corporation; one month later, the company changed its name to Litton Industries after acquiring a small electron tube company from Charles Litton

1958 Litton's lightweight inertial navigation system for aircraft became operational

1959 Installation of a groundbreaking inertial guidance device in Grumman's A-6 Intruder and E-2C Hawkeye, and Lockheed's P-3 Orion. This navigation system became Litton's signature product

1960 Litton acquired Western Geophysical Company of America, giving the company a strong position in seismic exploration

1961 Litton purchased Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation, paving the way for stellar success in shipbuilding

1964-1968 More than 10 Litton components are utilized on the 12 two-man flights of Project Gemini. The project's purpose is to test astronauts' ability to manoeuvre spacecraft by manual control, a vital precursor to the Apollo moon missions

1960s Litton Industries owned Royal and Imperial Typewriters; transferred manual typewriter production from Hartford, Conn., to Hull, greatly expanding the factory there[1]

1975 Announcement of plans to close the Hull and Leicester factories, probably importing electric typewriters from the Triumph-Adler subsidiary in Germany[2]

1970 Ingalls began ship production in a newly-built modular construction facility, a method Ingalls pioneered in the U.S. The company won the largest single contract in the history of American shipbuilding - $2.1 billion for 30 Navy Spruance-class destroyers

1975-1983 Ingalls designed, built and delivered 41 surface combat ships to the U.S. Navy, more than all other domestic shipyards combined

1980s Litton built Ticonderoga-class ships with Aegis weapons systems, the most advanced air defense, radar and missile system in the world at the time

1981 The company became a major supplier of night vision goggles to the U.S. Army and law enforcement agencies

1983 Litton produced its 20,000th inertial navigation system, a milestone in aviation history

1983 The company created the first laser radar used in space as part of the U.S. Department of Defense's Strategic Defense Initiative

1990s Litton acquired companies to strengthen its presence in information systems, marine electronics and commercial electronics

1999 The company acquired Avondale shipyard, strengthening its position in support vessels and shipbuilding

2001 Acquired by Northrop Grumman

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times Feb. 3, 1975
  2. The Times Feb. 3, 1975
  • [1] Northrop Grumman