June 20 (UPI) -- The Department of Defense announced a contract award to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems this week for support on the MQ-9 Reaper drone.
The deal, worth more than $39.5 million under the terms of a undefinitized contract action, enables General Atomics to provide "surge support" for contractor-owned and operated MQ-9 Reapers attached to U.S. Marine Corps Task Force Southwest operations occurring under the authority of U.S. Central Command.
MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles are designed to conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions and have the capability to strike enemy targets.
Work on the contract will occur in Arizona and California, as well as U.S. Central Command areas of operation, and is expected to be complete in November 2018.
More than $19.3 million will be obligated to General Atomics at time of award -- the funds will be allocated from Navy fiscal 2018 operations and maintenance accounts.
All of the obligated funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year in September, the Pentagon said.