On Friday, the Department of Defense awarded Northrop Grumman two contracts worth a combined $34 million.

The first contract modifies an existing contract by awarding Northrop $28.6 million to provide engineering and production planning services for Mission Packages that will be used aboard Navy Littoral Combat Ships, or LCSes. "Mission Packages" are a relatively new concept for the Navy and consist of standardized sets of equipment, sensors, and crew (Mission Modules) that can be loaded aboard an LCS to transform it into a ship designed for a specific mission.

Think of the LCS as the base plate in a Lego set. Depending on what kind of mission you might need to perform, different sizes and colors of Legos (Mission Modules) could be added to the base plate to build a complete Mission Package. For example, an LCS equipped for a surface warfare mission might be equipped with MK 46 and MK 44 cannons and associated rounds, surface-to-surface missiles, and an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter. LCSes destined for other missions might receive equipment better suited for minesweeping, for anti-submarine warfare, for anti-piracy, and so on.


Northrop's role in the instant contract is to assist in picking out the right "Legos," and evaluating how they work through a dynamic process of "continuous evaluation."

The company's role in the second contract is more straightforward. For $5.4 million, Northrop will support U.S. Army efforts to develop digitized communications among units on the battlefield, a project referred to as the "Lower Tactical Internet." Northrop will continue its work here through Sept. 12.

The article Northrop Wins $34 Million in New Pentagon Contracts originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Northrop Grumman. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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