Aug. 21 (UPI) -- The Pentagon announced contracts totaling $17.4 million on Friday to retain contractors' workforce capabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All were ordered under the Defense Production Act Title III, which provides the president with broad authority to support, through economic incentives, essential domestic industrial resources involved in national defense and homeland security requirements.
A $3.1 million contract, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services, was announced with BioFire Defense LLC of Salt Lake City to expand production capacity for diagnostic testing for the COVID-19 virus.
AQYR Technologies received a $3.6 million contract to expand production capability of the Global Broadcast Service Portable Receiver Suite. A Defense Department statement on Friday called the New Hampshire-based company "the sole source supplier of the PRS tactical and portable terminals, which enable war fighters to receive extremely large intelligence products (streaming video, imagery, geospatial, etc.) while reducing the chances of discovery by enemy signals detection systems."
Arlingonton, Va.-based Leonardo Electronics US Ltd. received a $7 million contract to continue manufacturing Diode Pumped Alkali Laser systems, a hybrid of gas- and solid-state lasers. The statement referred to sustainment of the systems' supply chain as a "critical domestic capability." Production under the contract will be done at the company's Tucson, Ariz., facility.
A $3.7 million contract was awarded to Aero Turbine of Stockton, Calif., to build, overhaul, test and repair General Electric J85 engines used by the U.S. military on light attack and military aircraft, including the Cessna A-37 Dragonfly, Northrop F-5 and Northrop T-38 Talon.