Defense companies land $500M in deals

Before the now-notorious partial government shutdown took hold, the Pentagon awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to Central Florida defense contractors, according to Defense Department records.

Overall, figures indicate the military awarded deals worth more than $500 million in the week leading up to the shutdown, which also happened to be the end of the federal government's fiscal year.

But with the gridlock of Congress and the Obama administration now extending to the debt-ceiling issue, there is still uncertainty about how much of the cash will find its way to the defense companies.

Defense officials have said the money tied to the new deals – as well as other currently funded programs – was appropriated by Congress in earlier budget years. In fact, the Pentagon has confirmed it will continue to award contracts, even during the shutdown, though the military will not formally announce those awards until after the stalemate is over.

But in this era of shutdown, sequestration and other funding crises, it is difficult to read the tea leaves on how much military spending will survive in the coming year.

 

Lockheed leads pack

Not surprisingly, Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Central Florida operations garnered the most new contracts in the week leading up to the shutdown. Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed is the state's largest contractor – with its biggest Florida operations located in Orlando.

Lockheed's Hellfire Systems LLC – located at its Missiles and Fire Control unit in Orlando – bagged the largest pre-shutdown contract: Nearly $250 million from the Army to produce Hellfire combat missiles for U.S. allies, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Korea, the Netherlands and Australia.

Lockheed Missiles and Fire Control Orlando also received a Navy deal potentially worth more than $23 million to provide manufacturing and other support services for naval undersea warfare programs. The deal increases the potential value of the overall program to nearly $50 million. Terms include work for the U.S. Navy and the Japanese navy, at sites in Norfolk, Va., Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, San Diego, Calif., Mayport, Fla., Bath, Maine, and Pascagoula, Miss.

Another Lockheed enterprise – Longbow LLC – received a $7.5 million Army contract to provide engineering services for the Apache Longbow Hellfire missile program. Longbow LLC is a joint venture with Northrop Grumman Corp.

Others also snag contracts

Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Training operation in Orlando received a trio of Air Force contracts in the pre-shutdown week: $29 million for C-130J aircrew and maintenance training services; $21.5 million for converting C-130 weapons-training systems to an advanced configuration; and $8.6 million for support services at the C-130J Training System Support Center.

Other contractors in the region also snagged contracts in the last week of September:

IAP Worldwide Services Inc. of Cape Canaveral received two deals together worth $100 million to provide emergency support, public-works services and engineering work for the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

L-3 Communications Corp.'s Coleman Aerospace Division in Orlando got two deals from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency: $15.2 million for testing services and other support to the Extended Long Range Air Launch Target program; and $9.1 million for the Short-Range Air Launch Target Assembly, Integration and Test program.

Space Coast Launch Services at Patrick Air Force Base received a $35.4 million deal for launch operations, maintenance and engineering support for the Air Force 45th Space Wing.