Northrop Grumman Corp. said it was awarded an additional $186 million contract from U.S. Navy concerning engineering and design for the USS Gerald R. Ford, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier under construction.

Los Angeles-based Northrop's shipbuilding unit is the prime contractor on the $7 billion project, which is scheduled for completion in 2015.

The carrier will be the first in the Ford-class series in honor of late 38th president’s service in the Navy. It’s the first major carrier design change since the Nimitz class ships of the 1960s. The design will allow for more flights and improvements that will reduce the workload for sailors, enabling the ship to operate with a smaller crew size than existing carriers.

Shares were down 36 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $65 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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