GD wins chemical agent contract

General Dynamics Corp. received an $8.6 million option to a contract from the Army to produce 2,000 improved chemical agent monitors, the company said yesterday.

The Army's Robert Morris Acquisition Center in Aberdeen, Md., awarded the option to General Dynamics' armament and technical products business unit, which designs, develops and produces armament systems.

The original contract was awarded in December 1995 and had a value of $14.3 million. The option extends deliveries of the devices through October 2005 and will bring the number of units produced to more than 15,000, worth about $66 million. All work will be performed at the unit's new detection and protection facility in Charlotte, N.C., which will open later this year.

The lightweight, handheld devices are used to monitor chemical contamination and confirm decontamination effectiveness. They can detect a range of nerve and blister agents in minute quantities at atmospheric pressures. The devices are the main post-attack monitors used worldwide, and are currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The company said sales for production, refurbishment and spares have reached more than $75 million since it began producing the devices in 1997.

Headquartered in Falls Church, Va., General Dynamics employs about 68,400 workers worldwide and had 2003 revenue of $16.6 billion. The company is No. 6 on Washington Technology's 2004 Top 100 list of government contractors.

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