The Department of Defense awarded eight contracts Wednesday, worth just under $956 million in combined value. One company, however, quickly scooped up nearly 65% of the funds on offer: Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC ) .
The contract in question, worth $617 million, "definitizes" the amount Northrop will be paid on a previously awarded contract to produce five E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft for the U.S. Navy under Full-Rate Production Lot 1.
Northrop describes the Advanced Hawkeye as the "digital quarterback" of a Navy carrier strike group. Its role is to sweep the battlefield ahead of a strike force with its powerful airborne radars, detecting threats and assigning assets to meet these threats. In battle, the Advanced Hawkeye manages the deployment of Navy warplanes in the air, identifying and keeping track of friendly and unfriendly aircraft, and warns the seaborne fleet away from danger.
Delivery of the planes is expected to be complete by June 2016.