Caterpillar Receives $641M Contract From Defense Department

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. said Monday that received a contract worth up to $641 million to build earth-moving tractor scrapers for the Defense Department.

It's the largest single award from the department that the Peoria, Ill.-based company has received, the company said in a statement.

The big machines, to be made in Decatur, Ill., will be used by the Marines and Army to build roads, airfields and for other jobs that require moving a large amount of dirt quickly, Caterpillar said in a statement.

The machines can be lifted and tied down so they can be quickly transported, the company said.

The five-year contract can be extended for another five years, meaning Caterpillar could make as many as 909 of the machines for the Defense Department.

Shares of the Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar rose 72 cents to $73.90 in afternoon trading and earlier reached a 52-week high of $74.