Life got a little bit harder for General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) Monday.

If you recall, back in April, General Dynamics' Information Systems and Technology division was named as one of eight companies -- and the only publicly traded company of the eight -- winning the right to participate in the U.S. Air Force's NETCENTS-2 program. NETCENTS-2 is an umbrella program funding purchases of off-the-shelf commercial products such as networking equipment, servers/storage, multimedia, and software for the U.S. Air Force's Internet Protocol Network. It was a big contract opportunity for General D, as the heavyweight contender bidding against seven smaller rivals to win a potential $6.9 billion in USAF contracts.

Well, on Monday, the Air Force named another eight companies as having the right to compete for task orders under NETCENTS-2. immixTechnology, Blue Tech, Micro Tech, and Red River Computer -- General Dynamics' new competitors -- aren't exactly household names. But now there are twice as many of them bidding against General Dynamics for a share of the U.S. Air Force's dollars and NETCENTS.

Meanwhile, neither the size of the contract ($6.9 billion) nor its duration (six years, comprising a three-year base period and three year-old options) has been increased.