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.

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.