Can Gorbachev Pound Missiles Into Plowshares?

His economic reforms--and Western aid--may hinge on retooling the vast Soviet defense industry

Rows of ominous gray surface-to-air missiles stand ready for shipping in a pristine, eight-story industrial shop of the Arsenal defense factory in Leningrad. But General Manager Vyacheslav Petrov would much rather show a rare foreign visitor his more benign goods: flour-milling machines put together by the plant's state-of-the-art machine tools. "No one else in the Soviet Union can make these. The market is huge," says Petrov, a lean, 53-year-old rocket engineer.

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