The US Navy has awarded a $10.1m contract to engineering services company EDO Professional Services to provide support services for the Navy Marine Mammal Programme (NMMP).

The NMMP is run by the US Navy to study the military use of marine mammals such as dolphins and sea lions to perform tasks such as ship and harbour protection, mine detection and clearance, and equipment recovery.

Under the three-year contract, the company will provide engineering support for the development and maintenance of mechanical and electrical hardware and computer software for NMMP and associated unmanned vehicles, systems and equipment.

The contract has two one-year options which if exercised would make the value to $17.5m.

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The major work will be carried out at the NMMP base in California and is expected to be complete by 21 July 2012.