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Northrop Grumman Corporation, (NOC - Analyst Report) received a three-year contract from the U.S. Army to build and deliver hand-held targeting devices (“HHTPDs”) at its Apopka operation in Florida. The contract is valued at $9.2 million. To date, the company has delivered over 25,000 laser targeting systems to the Army.

The hand-held device weighing around 5.5 pounds enables land forces to accurately convey critical mission data to aircraft and command outfits. The newly designed small and lightweight HHTPDs include a celestial navigational module.

The cutting-edge device is a high-tech version of the previously manufactured portable Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder IIH. Northrop currently has a series of such laser systems in the pipeline for production like the Mark VII and Mark VIIE laser target locators, M1 Abrams Eyesafe Laser Rangefinder and Target Acquisition Designation for the AH-64 Apache to name a few.

From the start of 2013, the company has been busy amassing contracts from the U.S. defense sector. Recently, Northrop acquired a $14.1 million contract to support system development and demonstration phase via preliminary design evaluation for the Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device (“RCIED”).

Like the other defense operators, the possibility of cutbacks in defense spending in the U.S. will impact Northrop’s future prospects. However, strong international orders could somewhat mitigate the losses from domestic defense cuts.

Northrop Grumman currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Another Zacks Ranked #3 defense operator to look out for is Raytheon Company (RTN - Analyst Report). The company is also stepping up its business and has got hold of two contracts worth $212.8 million for the production of Evolved Seasparrow Missiles (“ESSM”) from the U.S. Navy and for providing components required for the manufacturing of ESSM weapons to the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation of Japan.

Based in Falls Church, Virginia, the $16.56 billion company provides products, services, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, and technical services worldwide.

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