Billerica, Mass.-based American Science & Engineering (NASDAQ:ASEI) announced the sale of 10 vans to foreign buyers on Tuesday -- which doesn't sound like big news, but really is.

The vans in question -- "ZBV" Mobile Screening Systems -- contain Backscatter X-ray detection apparatus that can be used to scan cargo and vehicles at security checkpoints, border stations, and other high value targets. And because the X-ray systems are loaded on vans, they're mobile and can be shifted around to where needed most.

AS&E calls its ZBV system "the number one selling cargo and vehicle inspection system on the market, with more than 650 systems sold to 128 different customers in 59 countries." Today's announced sale will add 10 ZBVs to that tally, as the company ships the vans out to customers in "the Middle East, Asia, Europe, South America, and North America."

AS&E did not specify a value for these new sales contracts, but in the past, a single ZBV has been estimated to cost $729,000 and up -- and public records of sales of the device have specified multiple instances in which ZBVs were sold for close to $1.2 million apiece. Working from the latter figure, today's contract could easily be worth $12 million to AS&E, and represent more than 6.6% of all the revenues the company earns in a normal year.

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