- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 22, 2010

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) — The Pentagon has awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a contract worth up to $5 billion to support special operations forces, reinstating a program the company lost last June to rival military contractor L-3 Communications.

Lockheed was originally awarded the contract in March 2009, but it was terminated in June 2009 over a protest by L-3. However, L-3’s special support programs division earlier this month was temporarily barred from getting new federal contracts or orders due to an Air Force investigation into whether those employees were inappropriately monitoring and copying e-mail traffic. L-3 has said it is cooperating fully with the government and is providing information to the Air Force.

New York-based L-3 on Tuesday said the special ops contract represented 3 percent of its 2009 sales, and the loss of it will trim fiscal year net income by 4 cents per share and full-year revenue by $150 million.

Lockheed will provide logistics and other support services for the U.S. Special Operations Command. The contract is expected to run through 2018.

Shares of Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed rose 55 cents to $80.62, while shares of L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. fell 79 cents to $80.60 in morning trading.


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