Northrop Grumman Corp. said Friday that it has been awarded a $287 million contract to produce five more Global Hawk spy planes for the Air Force.

The Global Hawk is an unmanned aircraft, designed for high-altitude reconnaissance and to provide time-sensitive target imagery for bombing strikes. The contract also commissions Northrop to provide equipment needed for the additional aircraft, including a mission-control system, a launcher and four sets of sensors.

The majority of the work on the Global Hawk is done at Northrop's manufacturing facility in Moss Point, Miss. The fuselage is then shipped to Northrop's manufacturing facility in Palmdale, where wings and various electronics are added. Work on the planes in the new contract will be completed in February 2009.

Shares in Northrop were up 31 cents to $73.38 during afternoon trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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