Pentagon Wants Drones, But First... an Upgrade to Windows 7

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The Department of Defense awarded more than $562 million worth of contracts on Wednesday. Publicly traded companies receiving contracts included:

  • Eaton Corporation (NYSE: ETN  ) , which was awarded a maximum $12 million firm-fixed-price, sole-source contract to supply various oil nozzles and parts to the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps with a May 22, 2015, performance completion date.
  • Elbit Systems (NASDAQ: ESLT  ) subsidiary M7 Aerospace, awarded a $15.2 million option extension on a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract for logistics support for 12 Navy/Marines UC-35 and seven Navy C-26 transport aircraft through May 2014.
  • Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC  ) , winner of a $15.3 million modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract funding continued systems development and demonstrations of the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System. This is the same drone that the Royal Australian Air Force recently expressed interest in acquiring.

Curiously, the DOD clarified that the actual purpose of the latter contract is not so much to perform work on the new drone per se but rather to pay for an upgrade of software being used in the project -- from Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Windows XP operating system to Windows 7.

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