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Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC - Analyst Report) has received a four-year contract worth $318 million from the Defense Intelligence Agency (“DIA”). Per the Enterprise Application Development and Integration Support task order, the company will support the full software development life cycle of DIA's consolidated and efficient enterprise-centric information technology architecture.

Under the contract, Northrop will also design, develop, integrate, test and deploy requirements, tasks and technical support services to DIA's Chief Information Office.

This contract demonstrates the company’s long-standing partnership with DIA. DIA is one of the sub agencies of the Department of Defense (DoD). It provides foreign military intelligence information to key decision makers. Like DIA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) are also sub agencies of the DoD from which Northrop has been receiving contracts on a continued basis.

In March this year, Northrop was selected to support DISA to update and maintain the command and control system for the Global Command and Control System-Joint engineering support services.

Other big aerospace and defense players have also been receiving contracts from these defense agencies. In March this year, Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT - Analyst Report) received a Long Range Anti-Ship Missile modification contract from DARPA to conduct air- and surface-launched flight tests and other risk reduction activities.

Northrop has a strong presence in Air Force, Space & Cyber Security programs. The company’s product line is well positioned in high priority categories, such as defense electronics, unmanned aircraft and missile defense. Going forward, with these contracts in hand and its cash deployment strategy, we expect the company to continue to generate strong earnings like it did in the first quarter. The company presently retains a short-term Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Other stocks worth considering are Erickson Air-Crane Inc. (EAC - Snapshot Report) and Wesco Aircraft Holdings, Inc. (WAIR - Snapshot Report).  While Erickson Air-Crane carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Wesco Aircraft holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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