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Lockheed Martin (LMT - Analyst Report) won a $104 million contract from the U.S. Air Force Space Command Space and Missile Center to provide backing to the ground control systems in the Global Positioning System (“GPS”) satellites programs.

As per the contract, Lockheed Martin will offer technical support to the command and control ground systems, hardware and communications engineering, system engineering, space vehicle, ground equipment exercises, software testing and hardware maintenances.

Lockheed Martin will also provide sustainment engineering assistance to the GPS control systems. This in turn would allow the Air Force Command 2nd operation to smoothly carry out its on-orbit control operations in the satellite group.

The contract will be carried out for a period of approximately 6 years from January 2013 through June 2019. Lockheed Martin will also be helped by small business entities like Arctic Slope Research Corporation (“ASRC”), ISYS Technologies, Tigua Technology Services and Overlook Systems Technologies.

These companies will hand out hardware engineering, technical order management, systems administrations and software testing services. Apart from this, another player, Ogden Air Logistics Center will offer Depot level maintenance and test supports.

We expect the company’s diversified business will lend constancy to its future returns. Recently, it clinched a $755 million contract for the production and management of the PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 ("PAC-3") Missile Segment program.

We believe the company’s significant backlog orders of about $75.6 billion at the end of the first nine months of 2012 and encouraging prospects from the Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance ("ISR") programs, unmanned systems, force protection, cyber-security and missile defense operations will act as positive triggers in the near term.

However, uncertainty regarding the U.S. government’s defense spending cuts in 2013 could weigh on Lockheed Martin’s growth goals. Lockheed Martin currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Another Zacks #3 Ranked player in the defense domain is Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC - Analyst Report). Northrop picked up a few long-term profitable contracts like the $80 million deal with Space Naval and Warfare System Command for the indefinite-quantity/indefinite-delivery of Next Generation Command and Control Processor ("NGC2P") Technology Refresh and Link 22 development.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, the $30.22 billion aerospace and defense company, Lockheed Martin primarily engages in research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems and products.

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