I've come to the realization that large weapons projects are the only jobs program Democratic and Republican politicians can agree on. Democrats love them because they're large, stable, lucrative, doled out by government mandate and spread across dozens of congressional districts. Republicans love them because they're large, stable, lucrative, awarded based on market competition, spread across dozens of congressional districts and they kill people. Since Vietnam the only people with the balls to cut defense spending have been the bleeding hearts that don't get reelected. Soft on foreign policy? Buy bombers. Hard on foreign policy? Buy bombers.
And the economics are opaque. Before digging into this I had no idea that Northrop had become "The Drone Company" but hot diggity damn, they sure hate pilots.