Northrop Grumman Corp. beat out rival Boeing Co. for a $3.8 billion, multi-year contract to provide logistics services for the fleet of KC-10 aerial refueling tankers, the Pentagon announced late Thursday.

Boeing builds the KC-10 and currently holds the current service contract for the plane, which is set to expire in January. It has been servicing the aircraft since 1998. Boeing said it would review the decision before deciding whether to appeal the decision.

Northrop and its European partner, Airbus-maker EADS are competing against Boeing to win a contract to supply at least 179 next-generation tankers to the U.S. Air Force, deal that could be worth up to $50 billion.

Separately, Northrop said it received a $153 million contract from the Air Force to provide Litening G4 targeting and sensor systems and related equipment for aircraft.

The Los Angeles defense contractor will deliver the pods to the Air Force as well as supply kits that will enable the Air Force Reserve Command and Air National Guard to upgrade existing pods on their aircraft.

Litening pods are units mounted externally on aircraft that contain advanced navigation and targeting technology. The pods are also equipped with "plug-and-play" technology that enables them to accept a variety of data links without further modification. the company last month was awarded a $98.7 million contract to supply the same system for several Navy aircraft.

In addition, the Pentagon said Northrop received a $49.2 million contract from the Air Force to provide services for the Global Hawk, an unmanned aerial vehicle. The company also received a $6.2 million contract from the Army to provide logistics support for another unmanned aviation system.

Northrop shares were up 43 cents, or 1 percent, to $50.51 in Friday midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange, after closing down 3 percent on Thursday.

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