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Guess Who Just Won a $4.3 Billion Defense Contract

The Pentagon awarded $4.83 billion in new defense contracts Wednesday -- all but $495 million of which was contained in one single award. The lucky winner of this award -- all $4.34 billion of it -- is the Reston, VA "applied technology" contractor Leidos (NYSE: LDOS). The company has been hired by the U.S. Navy to modernize its Defense Healthcare Management System, providing the Navy with an off-the-shelf electronic health records "solution" and to integrate and deploy said solution "across the Military Health System."

Although the contract was routed through the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, it appears to be broader in reach, encompassing all military services. It is also going to be broad in timespan. According to the Pentagon announcement, the contract will begin with an initial two-year award, to be followed by up to two optional three-year extensions -- a 10-year effort in total.

Despite the contract length, and the fact that funds will be spread over that period, this is a very big deal for Leidos. In all of 2014, the company generated $5.8 billion in total revenue.

As for the the smaller awards, the Bell Boeing Joint Project office, jointly run by Boeing and Textron, received $64.2 million in new funding to supply the Navy with "various repair parts" for V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.

Huntington Ingalls will get $20.6 million for labor and materials needed for "nuclear and nuclear-related work" on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).

Two companies, Britain's BAE Systems and also Ceradyne (now a subsidiary of 3M), will receive $45.1 million and $34.1 million, respectively, to supply the U.S. Army with "four variants of hard armor protective inserts" to beef up the protective prowess of Army bulletproof vests.

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Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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