Northrop Grumman Corp. missed out on more than $16 billion worth of government contracts in two weeks, but the Los Angeles-based defense contractor still sees opportunity in non-traditional contracting.
Boeing Co. announced last week that it had been awarded a coveted Secure Border Initiative contract, worth about $8 billion. Under the contract, technology will be placed along more than 6,000 miles of border with Canada and Mexico. It was the second-largest contract ever awarded by the Department of Homeland Security in its three-year history.
That news came on the heels of another failed Northrop bid to be the prime contractor for NASA’s ambitious new crew exploration vehicle, an $8 billion contract that was awarded to Lockheed Martin.
“Of course we’re disappointed that we didn’t win the award for the CEV. But space is one of our strongest sectors, and there will be multiple opportunities for us down the road,” said Brooks McKinney, a spokesman for Northrop’s Integrated Systems sector.
Northrop has been riding its defense-focused business since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq started. The company is the nation’s largest shipbuilder and has seen widespread use of its Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, which helped lead to more than $4 billion in profits since 2001 for the company.
But the company began a shift earlier this year to civil projects, or “non-traditional” defense contracting. This shift was highlighted by a 10-year, $2 billion contract the company was awarded earlier this year for managing the IT services for more than 90 state organizations in Virginia. About 20 percent of Northrop’s $30 billion in revenues come from the company’s information technology sector, which formed in January.
“We’re predicting high-single digit, low-double digit growth in this sector for this year,” said Sid Fuchs, president of Northrop’s Civilian Agencies Group.