U.S. government awards $126 million face masks contract to 3M

FILE PHOTO: Various N95 respiration masks at a laboratory of 3M, that has been contracted by the U.S. government to produce extra marks in response to the country's novel coronavirus outbreak, in Maplewood, Minnesota, U.S. March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi

(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Defense said on Wednesday it has signed a $126 million contract with industrial conglomerate 3M Co MMM.N to produce 26 million face masks per month, starting October 2020. 

3M is expected to increase N95 face masks production by at least 312 million annually within the next twelve months, the department said.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi