In a sudden (and this year, uncharacteristic) frenzy of buying activity, the Department of Defense awarded 26 separate defense contracts in its Wednesday evening announcement of contract awards. The total value of contracts awarded was $885.7 million. Three of America's biggest defense contractors -- Boeing (NYSE: BA ) , Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT ) , and Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC ) -- were especially successful in capturing contracts, both jointly and separately.
- Boeing was awarded a $26.7 million cost-plus-incentive-fee order to deliver to the U.S. Navy seven flight critical engineering change proposals to deal with fractures and maintenance-critical areas on Navy F/A-18 A-D airframes under the Service Life Extension Program Phase C1 effort. Delivery is due July 2015.
- Lockheed Martin was awarded a $13.4 million contract modification to incorporate Phase 3 work into the DARPA Behavioral Learning for Adaptive Electronic Warfare, or BLADE, program, aiming to "refine and technically mature algorithms and software developed during Phase 2 of the program and to apply them in tactically relevant environments and timeframes on tactical military electronic attack platforms." With the addition of these funds, Lockheed's BLADE contract is now worth $29.4 million to the company. These funds will extend Lockheed's work on BLADE through October 2015.
- Northrop Grumman was awarded a $6.6 million contract modification, extending through Aug. 31 the schedule for its work on developing and demonstrating a Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program radar system for use aboard Global Hawk Block Block 40 drones.
- Lockheed's Hellfire Systems, LLC, subsidiary, which started out as a joint venture between Lockheed and Boeing, but is now owned solely by Lockheed (although Boeing receives residual "fee-per-missile" payments for missiles sold by the LLC), was awarded a $28.4 million contract modification calling upon it to supply 372 Hellfire II air-to-ground tactical containerized missiles to the militaries of Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Jordan by Nov. 30, 2016.
- The Longbow LLC joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman was awarded a $25.2 million contract modification to supply the U.S. Army with 17 radar electronics units and unmanned aerial system tactical common data link assemblies, plus a software upgrade and associated hardware needed for production testing, all by July 31, 2015.
Despite all of this buying activity, one top industry CIO has picked another industry and one top stock to dominate 2014. You can read more about it here.