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Northrop sues Lockheed over military contractNorthrop Grumman Corp. is suing Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Corp. for allegedly cutting it out of a $4 billion Army contract, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. The suit was filed in San Jose, Calif. in December but not previously publicly reported. It alleges that after Northrop helped Lockheed secure a contract to manufacture a new missile defense system, Lockheed assigned Northrop’s share of the job to one of its own production units. The dispute stems from the contract for the Army’s Theater High Altitude Area Defense program, known as THAAD. The system provides soldiers on the battlefield protection from missile assaults. Northrop, which is based in Los Angeles, argues in the suit that its defense-electronics unit was initially contracted to provide the canisters that launch the THAAD missile interceptors. The suit alleges that Lockheed ultimately turned the job over to its own unit in Middle River. Pete Harrigan, a spokesman for Lockheed, told the Journal that the lawsuit was “without merit.’’ He said the company chose to switch from Northrop because Northrop “chose to ignore repeated suggestions and advice on techniques to lower its costs.’’Judge asks papers’ editors for sentencing adviceA judge in Elyria, Ohio asked newspaper editors and jurors for advice on how to sentence a suburban Cleveland mayor convicted of corruption charges. The newspapers all declined any recommendation to Richard Markus, a visiting judge from Cleveland. Markus declined to comment Friday. It couldn’t be determined if any juror in the case had recommended a sentence. Juror names are confidential and cannot be disclosed, the Lorain County jury commissioner’s office said Friday. The prosecutor called the request illegal and improper. Avon Lake Mayor Vincent Urbin was convicted on Feb. 2 of having an unlawful interest in a public contract, tampering with evidence and being complicit in evidence tampering.