Heading into the Memorial Day weekend, the staff at the Department of Defense announced only two defense contracts in its Friday evening announcement of contract awards. Both went to Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), the nation’s largest pure-play defense contracting firm by revenues.
Lockheed’s larger award, worth $23.6 million to the company, was a contract modification funding systems engineering and integration work in support of the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Warfare Federated Tactical Systems. SWFTS is the common combat system used to operate in combat four of the Navy’s five main classes of submarine — all except for the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines. Lockheed will work on systems requirements, technical performance parameters, perform testing and validation work, as well as configuration management and control of the submarine fleet’s electronic interface database through January 2015.
The company’s somewhat smaller — but perhaps more interesting — contract win was the award of a $14.2 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to operate and sustain the U.S. Army’s National Cyber Range. A project initially designed and funded by DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), this range is described as “a secure, self-contained facility where complex defense and commercial networks can be rapidly emulated for cost-effective and timely validation of cyber technologies.” In essence, it is a virtual world where the military can experiment with potentially dangerous computer code in a contained environment, studying how it acts, what it does, and how it can be defeated. Lockheed’s work on this cyber-defense project will continue through May 25, 2019.
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