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It's a Brave New World for the Drone-Makers

By Rich Smith - Apr 5, 2013 at 6:00PM

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The Pentagon has two new drone programs in the works, and they're big.

On March 26, the U.S. Navy announced plans to award four firm-fixed-price contracts to develop prototype Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) drones. This is on top of a similar project, already in the works, to develop a fleet of Unmanned Combat Air Systems (UCAS).

Billions of dollars are at stake as each of Boeing (BA -3.76%), Northrop Grumman (NOC 3.14%), Lockheed Martin (LMT 2.25%), and General Atomics lock their targeting radars on these contracts. Who will emerge victorious? With the Pentagon set to spend $5.6 billion on drone purchases this year alone, and more in years to come, it's a question worth asking, and a trend in weapons purchases worth watching.

Motley Fool contributor Rich Smith explains in the following video.

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Stocks Mentioned

The Boeing Company Stock Quote
The Boeing Company
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Lockheed Martin Corporation Stock Quote
Lockheed Martin Corporation
$442.78 (2.25%) $9.75
Northrop Grumman Corporation Stock Quote
Northrop Grumman Corporation
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