Pentagon Spends $257.8 Million on Trident Nuke Upgrades

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"Sequester" or no sequester, the Department of Defense somehow always seems to find money in its pocket -- and companies to give it to. Contrary to popular belief, however, these aren't always for-profit, publicly traded defense contractors. Indeed, on occasion, the Pentagon actually finds a way to fund non-profit corporations ... and this was the case this week.

On Thursday, the Pentagon announced it has awarded not-for-profit research and development company Charles Stark Draper Laboratory a $257.8 million contract to perform work on the nation's seaborne nuclear deterrent -- specifically, on Trident II (D5) submarine-launched nuclear missiles.

Designed and built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT  ) , the Trident II is carried aboard U.S. Ohio-class and British Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines. At last report, the U.S. was believed to have approximately 540 Trident II (D5)s in its inventory. 

Charles Stark Draper Labs' role will be to perform work related to upgrading the guidance systems on these missiles to the "MK-6 MOD 1" configuration under a program called Strategic Program Alteration (SPALT). This contract runs through December 31, 2016, helping to extend the weapons' useful life to the expected 45-year span. 


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Rich Smith

As a defense writer for The Motley Fool, I focus on defense and aerospace stocks. My job? Every day of the week, I'm monitoring the news, figuring out the winners and losers, and tracking down the promising companies for you to invest in. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the most important developments in defense & aerospace, and other great stories.

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