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Northrop receives Pentagon contracts

July 13, 2007|From the Associated Press

Northrop Grumman Corp. was awarded two Navy contracts Thursday to repair shipyards damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The contracts are worth up to $98.7 million.

The first deal, worth up to $86.3 million, will provide infrastructure upgrades at the company's shipyards in Pascagoula and Gulfport, Miss.

The second, valued at $12.4 million, will provide similar upgrades at its shipyard in New Orleans.

The funds will be used to repair shipyards operated by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Gulf Coast that were heavily damaged by the 2005 hurricane. In Pascagoula, buildings, electrical grids, construction equipment and infrastructure were destroyed, Northrop said.

The defense contractor previously estimated losses from hurricane damage at more than $1 billion, a figure that could go higher because of further production delays on defense contracts.

According to the Navy, 18 proposals were received from seven competitors for the contracts, which are intended to expedite hurricane recovery for the shipbuilding industry.

The Northrop contracts are the first of seven expected to be awarded to Gulf Coast shipbuilders under emergency supplemental funding for the global war on terror and hurricane recovery, the Navy said.

Among the six other companies expected to be awarded contracts before the end of fiscal 2007 is Textron Marine & Land, a New Orleans-based unit of Textron Inc. "The ultimate beneficiary will be the Navy," said Landon Hutchens, a spokesman for the Naval Sea Systems Command, adding that upgrades to the shipbuilding facilities are vital to national security and will help to reduce costs on future Navy shipbuilding contracts.

Northrop is one of Mississippi's largest private employers, with more than 12,000 employees.

Shares of Century City-based Northrop rose 35 cents to $77.14.

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