For the second time this week, Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) has won a contract related to its LITENING Targeting Pod System. On Tuesday, the Pentagon awarded Northrop $7.1 million for sensor enhancement work on the system. On Thursday, though, the Pentagon gave Northrop a much more substantial order -- $173.6 million in the form of a firm-fixed-price, cost-reimbursable-no-fee, time and material contract for sustainment of LITENING. Work on this contract is to be completed by December 31, 2017.

Northrop describes LITENING as a "self-contained, multi-sensor targeting and surveillance system" used to "detect, acquire, auto-track and identify targets at extremely long ranges for weapon delivery" (i.e. shooting at). LITENING is also said to be useful for "nontraditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions."

The targeting pod is in use by both the U.S. Air Force, the USMC, and eight allied foreign countries -- Australia, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. It is installed aboard Block 30, 40, and 50 F-16 fighter jets, aboard the A-10C Warthog, the F-15E Strike Eagle, the B-52 bomber, F/A-18 C/D fighter bomber, the AV-8B Harrier, and the EA-6B electronic warfare aircraft.