The Air Force named a series of companies yesterday to share in as much as $9 billion in contracts for its next-generation communications system.

Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda said a team of companies it leads was among those chosen for the Air Force's Network Centric Solutions program. In a statement, Lockheed Vice President Peter Rogers said the Air Force needs "information dominance for rapid mobility, global reach and power."

Among other contractors named by the Air Force to help provide the network "backbone" for the new system were Washington area companies General Dynamics Corp. of Falls Church; Northrop Grumman Information Technology of Herndon; Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. of McLean; Centech Group Inc. of Arlington; Multimax Inc. of Largo; NCI Information Systems Inc. of Reston; and Telos Corp. of Ashburn.

The five-year contract is only part of the Air Force's effort to provide real-time information on everything from troop movements to weapons supplies. Air Force briefing papers said the goal is to give U.S. forces an edge in warfare by connecting "sensors, decision-makers" and "shooters."

Lockheed said its team on the contract will include 10 other companies, including Lucent Technologies Inc., SBC Communications Inc. and IBM Global Services.

Thomas R. Temin, editor-in-chief of Government Computer News, contributed to this report.