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U.S. Navy near multi-year spy plane award to Northrop: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon has told Congress that it plans to award Northrop Grumman Corp a five-year contract worth up to $3.9 billion for new spy planes after concluding the deal would save $369 million, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The contract would cover 25 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft that would be operated on aircraft carriers, and could be awarded by the end of the month, said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

News of the expected contract was first reported by Bloomberg, citing a letter from Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall to U.S. lawmakers.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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