Starting the week off with a bang (if you'll pardon the expression), the U.S. Department of Defense announced 18 separate contract awards on Monday worth approximately $1.95 billion in total. The single biggest contract -- a monster $1.3 billion award -- will actually be split among seven companies:

Modifying existing indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, Advanced Technology Support Program III (ATSP3) contracts already awarded, Monday's award raises the aggregate maximum value of these contract past $6 billion.

The Pentagon describes ATSP3 as "multiple-award, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts for engineering services designed to resolve problems with obsolete, unreliable, unmaintainable, underperforming, or incapable electronics hardware and software." The companies named above will compete against each other to win individual task orders under the $6 billion "umbrella" value on the contracts. Work is expected to continue through December 2016.

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