Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. said on Dec. 22 that its Composite Engineering Inc. subsidiary received a $72.3 million award to supply target drones and associated support to the U.S. Air Force.

The base deal for $24.3 million covers lot 11 of the flying machines, which imitate adversaries. The Air Force may also exercise options to buy lots 12 and 13 for $24 million each. Work will extend through 2018.

Kratos Defense (Nasdaq: KTOS) is a University City-based holding company. Composite Engineering is based in Sacramento. Two other Kratos units — Micro Systems Inc. of Florida and Herley Industries of Pennsylvania — will contribute to the finished products.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center awarded the contract through its armament directorate, test and training division, aerial targets branch.