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The US Navy has awarded a $98.7m contract to Northrop Grumman to equip domestic and allied navy aircraft with expeditionary litening pods (LPODs).

The LPOD is a precision targeting pod system integrated and mounted externally to the aircraft, which significantly increases the combat effectiveness of the aircraft in all-weather conditions.

Under the contract, the company will integrate the LPODs for vertical / short take-off and landing ground attack aircraft AV-8B Harriers, all-weather carrier capable multirole fighter jets F/A-18 Hornets, twin-engine electronic warfare aircraft EA-6B Prowlers and four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft C-130 Hercules.

In addition, the company will provide associated engineering, technical support and technical data for the integration of LPODs on the aircraft.

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Work will be carried out in Illinois and is expected to be complete by June 2011.

The contract has been awarded by the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland.