* Boeing, General Dynamics, ITT win awards over 10 years
* Contracts cover ‘Next Gen’ future satellite navigation
* Companies to see how best to integrate future system
WASHINGTON, May 26 (Reuters) - Boeing Co (BA.N), General Dynamics Corp (GD.N) and ITT Corp (ITT.N) won aviation contracts from the U.S. government on Wednesday worth up to $4.4 billion combined, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
The contracts cover early stages of the “NextGen” air traffic modernization initiative and run for 10 years. They are among the largest awards in agency history.
“NextGen is an intricate network of systems that involves everything from air traffic control to weather,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “We need to have the right tools to make sure we integrate all these different components safely and smoothly.”
The government wants the three contractors to conduct large-scale tests on strategies for integrating futuristic, satellite navigation into the current system.
The FAA could not immediately say how much of the total each company is eligible to receive.
The FAA is proceeding with certain aspects of modernizing the aging air traffic network, and is awaiting congressional action on a long-term blueprint for the project. (Reporting by John Crawley, editing by Maureen Bavdek)