The Department of Defense announced 11 new defense contracts on Tuesday. That may not sound like much, but thanks to two multibillion-dollar contracts among them, the total value of contracts awarded on the day could surpass $14.18 billion.

The biggest winner of the day was the Bechtel Group. The privately held construction and engineering firm won a "modification" adding $7.1 billion to the value of its contract to perform naval nuclear propulsion work at the Bettis & Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories.

Nearly as lucrative as that contract was a second worth up to $6.9 billion, whose participants are as follows:

  • Federal Network Systems, a Verizon (NYSE:VZ) subsidiary
  • Harris(NYSE:HRS) IT division
  • PCMall, now known as PCM (NASDAQ:PCMI) 
  • Insight Enterprises (NASDAQ:NSIT)
  • Four privately held firms: FCN, Force 3, Presidio Networked Solutions, and Sterling Computers
  • Dell Federal Systems (now also private)

These nine companies have all been awarded places in the firm-fixed-price, multiple-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) Network Centric Solutions-2 (NETCENTS-2) Netcentric Products program. As previously reported, NETCENTS-2 is a U.S. Air Force program. Its purpose is to fund purchases of off-the-shelf commercial products such as networking equipment, servers/storage, multimedia, and software for the U.S. Air Force's Internet Protocol Network.

Companies named as participants in the program are given the right to bid on task orders to fulfill under NETCENTS-2. Prior to today's announcement, 16 other companies had won places under the "umbrella" contract. Thus, today's announcement increases the number of companies vying for a piece of the contract to 25.

The contract's potential size remains $6.9 billion. Its duration still stretches to six years potentially, consisting of an initial three-year base period, to be followed by a potential three one-year-long contract extensions.

Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.