Science Applications International Corp. will handle the nuts and bolts of keeping U.S. military planes in the air.

The San Diego-based research and engineering company won a 10-year contract worth up to $600 million from the Defense Logistics Agency to serve as supply-chain manager for depot maintenance on Navy and Marine Corps aircraft.

The contract, which will be managed from SAIC's office in Springfield, is worth $150 million over three years and has three option periods worth an estimated total of $450 million.

Under the contract, SAIC will coordinate the production, shipment and distribution of basic parts, electronics and hardware for repairing fighter and transport aircraft and helicopters, such as the F/A-18 Hornet strike-fighter, C-130 Hercules airlift aircraft and CH-46 Sea Knight assault helicopter. The company also will support the repair and maintenance of aircraft sub-assemblies, engines, ground-support equipment, and avionics equipment.

The work will be performed at the three naval air depots: Cherry Point in Havelock, N.C.; North Island in San Diego; and Jacksonville in Florida.

The contract "provides another way to make sure there are parts on the shelf and that the mechanics can do their jobs while the military concentrates on flying planes," said Ed Robinson, SAIC's assistant vice president and division manager for the Integrated Prime Vendor program.

The program is part of the Defense Logistics Agency's efforts to improve supply management and parts availability. The agency provides logistics support to Defense Department and other federal agencies, foreign governments and international organizations.

The contract "really identifies us as one of the leaders in supply chain management with the Defense Department, and no one else is doing this kind of work at this level," Robinson said.

SAIC provides similar services to the Air Force at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Georgia, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center in Oklahoma and Ogden Air Logistics Center in Utah. Such work at military depots means about $100 million a year for SAIC, Robinson said.

SAIC employs 44,000 workers and had revenue of $6.7 billion for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31.

For more details on this and other technology contracts, go to Roseanne Gerin is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

Science Applications International Corp. will manage spare parts for Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, including such planes as the Harrier, shown at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in Havelock, N.C.