While everyone is talking about politics and weather, the Pentagon stayed busy with a huge week of defense spending.
We found the most interesting contracts of the 501 inked last week to see where the money went.
America ... enjoy your latest purchases:
$5.6 Billion for intelligence analysis
Big names include BAE, Booz Allen Hamilton, CACI, L-3, Lockheed Martin and SAIC were awarded a multi-year $5.6 billion contract for professional support services.
This round of contracts provides support services to intelligence missions, defense planners, and policy makers.
This kind of contract where the Pentagon outsources work that could potentially be done internally has been criticized by watchdog groups such as the Project of Government Oversight, as each private employee is significantly costlier.
$2.9 Billion for airlifts
Just a week after contracts for major international shipping work went out, the Department of Defense has just awarded three air transport companies with contracts to fly DoD stuff for four years.
Atlas Air Inc., Kalitta Air LLC, and the National Air Cargo Group will split up to $2.92 billion over the next four years. They'll be paid for the work as they complete it.
The airlifting aspect is a new angle to the Pentagon's recent bout of shipping and handling contracts. Last week, they spent an unprecedented amount of money on a year's worth of shipping from around a dozen companies. Whether this all has to do with the drawdown in the Middle East remains to be seen, but that's a justifiable bet.
$2.8 Billion for almost a thousand helicopters
Sikorsky Aircraft, the makers of the Huey and the Black Hawk, just learned that they'll be covering the rent for quite a while.
Just weeks after corporate parent United Technologies Corp had to deal with engine company Pratt & Whitney's legal woes, the massive $2.83 billion check from Washington for 916 Black Hawks had to be a comfort.
The attack helicopters will go to the Army and Navy and may also be sold to foreign militaries through the Defense Department's Foreign Military Sales program.
$922 million for rocket science
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory scored $922.9 million to continue their research and development for the United States Ballistic Missile Defense System.
This contract continues the work that JHU's lab is doing. What's great about this for the Department of Defense is that the Applied Physics Lab is a non-profit entity, so the money is more efficiently applied to research projects.
The Applied Physics Lab carries out much of the Missile Defense Agency's R&D and actually ranks as one of the largest defense contractors in the United States.
$531 million worth of drones
General Atomics, the people behind the wildly successful Predator and Reaper drones, just scored two huge contracts this week.
One contract is $411 million for Gray Eagle systems, a derivative of the Predator drone. The Army will receive spares and extra hardware as well.
The second contract is for $120.6 million and will buy MQ-9 Reaper spares for the Air Force. They'll also get ground support systems and spares.
This half-billion spent of drones is a great indicator of the Defense Department's fascination with the devices.
BONUS: Special Forces Free Fall Simulator fetches $10 million
While it was far from the most lucrative contract, it seems like Special Forces groups are getting a new free fall simulator.
Pilkington Commercial of Yuma, Arizona was awarded $10 million to design and construct a special operations forces free fall simulator facility. They beat out seven other bidders.
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