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Pentagon Picks Winner of $400 Million SOCOM Contract

By Rich Smith – Feb 10, 2014 at 7:56PM

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Oregon Iron Works gets the nod to build SOCOM's new Combatant Craft, Medium Mark 1.

The Department of Defense awarded a total of six new defense contracts Monday, worth a total of $201.4 million. The biggest of these contracts was awarded to Lockheed Martin, whose Hellfire Systems subsidiary won a $157 million award for the supply of Hellfire missiles to foreign purchasers. But it was another company that booked the biggest win of the day ... albeit not on a "new" contract.

Back in September 2011, the U.S. Special Operations Command chose two privately held defense contractors, Oregon Iron Works and United States Marine, to build prototypes of a new fast boat to carry U.S. Navy SEALs into combat. Designated the Combatant Craft, Medium Mark 1, the new boat is supposed to be "modern, clandestine, agile, adaptive, technically relevant, reliable, and operationally capable." (Further details on the craft are still being held back.)

On Monday, SOCOM made its final decision in the competition between the two companies -- and named Oregon Iron Works the winner. Having "downselected" the company to build its new boat, SOCOM is awarding Oregon Iron Works the remainder of the $400 million IDIQ contract, with an expectation that the company will deliver the boats by December 2021.

Based in Clackamas, Ore., Oregon Iron Works has a long history of work for the armed forces. It builds vessels for the Special Forces already, and has also designed at least two unmanned surface vehicles (robotic boats) the water-landing Sea Scout Unmanned Air Vehicle as well.

Oregon Iron Works' Sea Scout UAV. Photo: Oregon Iron Works.

Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Lockheed Martin. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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