Air Force Hires Boeing and Lockheed for $531 Million Worth of Space Launches

The Department of Defense announced 13 new defense contracts worth a combined $1.12 billion Monday. Of these, the largest award by far went to the Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT  ) joint venture known as "United Launch Services LLC."

United Launch Services was awarded a sole-source, $530.8 million firm-fixed-price contract modification Monday, representing nearly half the funds authorized in the day's contracts. These funds will pay for "launch vehicle production services" from fiscal 2014 to 2017. Additional options for additional space launches from fiscal 2015 through fiscal 2019 are also attached to this contract and may be exercised at a later date -- increasing the contract's value further.

United Launch Services will be supplying launch vehicles of the following types: Air Force Atlas V 501, Air Force Atlas V 511, Air Force Delta IV 4,2, Air Force Delta IV 5,4, and a National Reconnaissance Organization Delta IV Heavy. Unless extended, this contract will run through Q2 2018.

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