Billerica, Mass.-based American Science and Engineering (NASDAQ: ASEI) announced the sale of 10 vans to foreign buyers on Thursday.

Big news? Potentially, yes.

The vans in question -- "ZBV" Mobile Screening Systems -- contain Backscatter X-ray detection apparatus that can be used to scan cargo and vehicles at security checkpoints, border stations, and other high value targets. And because the X-ray systems are loaded on vans, they're mobile and can be shifted around to where they're needed most.

American Science and Engineering (AS&E) calls its ZBV system "the top-selling mobile cargo and vehicle screening system in the world," with more than 650 systems sold to "government agencies, border authorities, law enforcement, military organizations, and security agencies in more than 55 countries." Today's announced sale will add 10 ZBVs to that tally, as the company ships the vans out to customers in "the Asia Pacific Region, the European Union, North America, and the Middle East."

AS&E did not specify a value for these new sales contracts, but in the past, a single ZBV has been estimated to cost $729,000 and up -- and public records of sales of the device have specified multiple instances in which ZBVs were sold for close to $1.2 million apiece. Working from the latter figure, today's contract could easily be worth $12 million to AS&E, and represent more than 6.6% of all the revenues the company earns in a normal year.

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