An E-11A aircraft carrying BACN electronics is pictured in November at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. Northrop Grumman works on the BACN project in San Diego. BACN can also ride in Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk aircraft. Photo by Senior Airman Kaylee Dubois, courtesy of U.S. Air Force.

An E-11A aircraft carrying BACN electronics is pictured in November at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. Northrop Grumman works on the BACN project in San Diego. BACN can also ride in Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk aircraft. Photo by Senior Airman Kaylee Dubois, courtesy of U.S. Air Force.

The following are selected defense contracts awarded to San Diego County companies in late June. The U.S. Department of Defense releases a digest of contract awards daily at 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. of Poway received an $80 million contract from the U.S. Army covering one year of contractor logistics support for the Gray Eagle Block 0 unmanned aircraft system. The Gray Eagle is the Army version of the remotely piloted Predator aircraft and is capable of carrying missiles or bombs. Work will be performed in Afghanistan and Poway. The U.S. Army Contracting Command of Redstone Arsenal, Alabama made the award, announced on June 28. There was no competitive bidding on the award.

• Separately on June 28, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems received a $7.64 million contract modification to upgrade its Warrior Alpha Unmanned Aircraft System fleet to the Gray Eagle Block 0 deployable configuration. Work will be performed in Poway, with expected completion in October 2020. The U.S. Army Contracting Command of Redstone Arsenal, Alabama made the award.

A Cell Tower in the Sky

• The U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. a $7.18 million contract modification for the aircraft carrying communications electronics known as Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, or BACN. Engineers based in San Diego work on the program. The BACN system can be likened to a cell tower in the sky and has been used in Afghanistan. BACN lets otherwise incompatible military radio systems communicate with one another, and can make radio communication easier in mountainous terrain. A manned or unmanned jet flies the electronics high above a battlefield. The deal, announced June 28, covers radio communications for BACN — specifically the Situational Awareness Data Link, external time reference. The deal covers design, integration and procurement. Work will run through January. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts awarded the contract modification, which increased the contract value from approximately $343 million to $350 million. Northrop Grumman shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NOC.

• Three businesses from San Diego County are among six small businesses eligible to bid on construction work at U.S. government buildings in California, Arizona and four other Western states. Specifically, the companies will have the chance to install, renovate or repair fire protection systems. The local businesses receiving indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts are Speedway Orion JV of San Diego,

Heffler Contracting Group of El Cajon and Millennium Fire Protection Corp. of Oceanside. Contract recipients may now compete for up to $240 million in construction task orders over the next two years. If the government exercises all of its options, work can stretch to five years. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest of San Diego awarded the contracts, announced on June 28. The contracts were competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website. Ten businesses submitted proposals.