Pentagon Spends $51 Million More on Copperhead Drones

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Just one week after awarding privately held defense contractor Navmar Applied Sciences a $31.3 million contract to procure and support 42 L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL  ) TigerShark unmanned aerial vehicles, the Pentagon has done it again. On Friday, the Department of Defense doubled down on Navmar by "modifying" the first contract, adding $51 million to its value "to exercise an option for additional sustainment efforts for existing Copperhead unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) detachments, to include personnel support for training and logistics both in the continental United States and outside the continental United States."

The modification also provides for Navmar to supply "a variety of spares and industrial supply type materials required for the repair and maintenance efforts." Like last week's contract, work on the modification is expected to be complete by February 2014.

Copperhead is the Pentagon's Joint IED Defeat Organization's designation for the TigerShark, once it has been equipped with a 1-foot Synthetic Aperture Radar that helps it detect insurgents engaged in burying IEDs.

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