On Monday, the Department of Defense announced the award of a small-but-significant contract to Teledyne (NYSE:TDY) subsidiary Teledyne Brown Engineering. The award of $8.5 million will pay Teledyne for providing "reprogramming services" under an "indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity" (IDIQ) contract to develop and test a development model of a shallow water combat submersible (SWCS).

The contract being modified benefits the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and commissions Teledyne to "design, develop, test, manufacture and sustain" the SWCS, which will replace the current SEAL Delivery Vehicle -- the underwater motorcycle-type vehicle you see SEAL fighters riding in the movies, while suited up in scuba gear and approaching a beachhead at night. The new variant, formerly designated the Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS), will be more like a mini-submarine, carrying one pilot and one SEAL within an enclosed hull.

The full SWCS contract, including all options, is valued at $383 million, and Monday's modification is part of this larger award, which Teledyne won back in July 2011.

Teledyne Brown has already successfully developed a full-scale mockup SWCS vehicle, and demonstrated the system's functionality under a preceding contract.

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