The U.S. Air Force has awarded Exelis Systems Corp. of Colorado Springs, Colo., a $38 million contract modification for launch and test range support, according to a Feb. 11 announcement from the Pentagon.

The move comes as several aerospace companies are bidding for a heavily sought-after and long-delayed contract for launch and range support, known as the Launch and Test Range System Integrated Support Contract (LISC). That contract is expected to be awarded later in 2014 and is expected to be a 10-year deal potentially worth $2.5 billion to $3 billion.

But as the service prepares to award the LISC contract, it has been awarding extensions to its three existing range support contracts.

Currently, a team of Raytheon Technical Services and PAE supports the range at Cape Canaveral in Florida; InDyne Corp. supports the range at Vandenberg in California; and Exelis provides sustainment at both sites. 

Under the Feb. 11 modification, Exelis will provide launch and test range system support for as long as six months, according to the announcement. Work at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida is expected to be completed by July 31, the announcement said.