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Aerospace giant The Boeing Co. (BA - Analyst Report) received an $895 million contract from the U.S. Air Force right before year-end 2012. Per this 10-year contact, Boeing will be entrusted with the responsibility of upgrading the military transport aircraft C-17 Globemaster.

Boeing will provide integrated software, hardware and weapons system upgrades to C-17 Globemaster. Most of the work will be done in its Long Beach, California facility.

United States continues to play an active role in global peace keeping, with C-17 Globemaster playing an important role in such missions. The contract for upgrade is in recognition of the importance of this aircraft, which will also be made ready for service in the next decade.

Primarily developed for military transportation, this aircraft is also used for humanitarian work and national emergencies. Apart from the U.S., several other countries use C-17 Globemaster for their defense needs.

Since its introduction in 1993, Boeing has delivered 218 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft till September 14, 2012. With the U.S. government planning to trim its defense expenditure, upgrade of this aircraft will defer the need for development of any new aircraft for the time being.

The Defense, Space & Security segment contributes nearly 40% of Boeing’s total revenue. The diversified offering allows Boeing to consistently win defense deals, amidst the fear of budget cuts.  This prompted Boeing to raise its full-year revenue guidance for this segment to $32.5–$33.0 billion from $31.5–$32 billion.

Chicago-based Boeing Co. currently has a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold). The company competes with the likes of General Dynamics Corp. (GD - Analyst Report), Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT - Analyst Report) and Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC - Analyst Report).

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