Nov. 27 (UPI) -- IAP Worldwide Services Inc. has been awarded a modified contract to exercise the second option year for logistics support services on the E-6B Mercury aircraft as tensions remain high with North Korea.
The deal, announced Monday by the Department of Defense, is worth more than $58 million and modifies terms under a previous contract award classified under a firm-fixed price, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, so IAP Worldwide may potentially be reimbursed for additional costs accumulated while working on the contract.
The contract between IAP Worldwide Services and the U.S. Navy enables the defense contractor to maintain and support the E-6 Mercury Take Charge and Move Out and Airborne Command Post aircraft. The deal also provides for support equipment, aircraft weapon system and associated support sites and organizations.
The E-6 provides survivable communication links between the National Command Authority, which includes the president of the United States, secretary of defense and U.S. nuclear forces.
The work is expected to be completed by November 2018, with 70 percent to be performed in Oklahoma City, Okla., and the rest split between Patuxent River, Md., Bellevue, Neb., and Fairfield, Calif. U.S. Navy fiscal 2018 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of more than $15.7 million will be obligated at time of award and are expected to expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
In November, Rockwell Collins Inc. was awarded more than $12.7 million to upgrade communication systems on the E-6B Mercury aircraft.
The Pentagon says the contract will "exercise an option for the installation of Block I/Internet Protocol Bandwidth Expansion Phase 3/Block IA Very Low Transmit Terminal/Nuclear Planning and Execution System kit on one E-6B aircraft."
Moreover, the contract will provide additional support services to the U.S. Navy such as field support engineering and training.
The new contract for the E-6 Mercury aircraft comes amid renewed concerns that nuclear war may be a possibility as tensions remain high between the United States and North Korea. On the same day the Pentagon announced the award to IAP Worldwide, Hawaiian officials said they are taking precautions to make sure residents know what to do in the event of a nuclear attack.
Officials said Monday the state will begin testing the missile warning system it used during World War II. The last time the missile warning system was activated was during the Cold War.
"Hawaii is a likely target because we're closer to North Korea than most of the continental United States," Vern Miyagi, administrator of the state's Emergency Management Agency, told NBC News. "As we track the news and see tests, both missile launches and nuclear tests, it's the elephant in the room. We can't ignore it. People of Hawaii need to know what Hawaii is doing in preparation for this."
On Tuesday, Miyagi, Hawaii Governor David Ige and Director of Emergency Management Major General Arthur J. Logan will present the emergency tone and discuss the need for the warning, how it will be used, and what the agency is doing to prepare the state for a nuclear threat.
The White House returned North Korea to its list of state sponsors of terrorism earlier this month, adding fuel to the proverbial fire between President Donald Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong-Un.