The Department of Defense said that a US weapons manufacturer won a contract totalling nearly half a billion dollars to produce surveillance drones for Special Operations Command.

A US weapons manufacturer won a contract totaling nearly half a billion dollars to produce surveillance drones for Special Operations Command (SOCOM), the Department of Defense said a press release.

“AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Maryland, was awarded… [a] contract for a maximum of $475,000,000 for mid-endurance unmanned aircraft systems intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance services,” the release stated.

The contract includes a 54-month period of performance, with four 12-month ordering periods followed by one six-month ordering period. Estimated completion date is July 2022, the release added.

Special Operations Command is the Unified Combatant Command charged with overseeing the various Special Operations Component Commands of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force of the US Armed Forces and plays a central role in US counter-insurgency operations around the world.