11/02/2012 04:03 EDT | Updated 01/02/2013 05:12 EST

MDA gets $13.4M contract to upgrade Canadian navy mine detection operations

VANCOUVER - MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX:MDA) has signed a $13.4-million navy upgrade contract with the Defence Department.

Under the contract, the Vancouver-based provider of space-based information services will upgrade systems to support mine detection missions and route survey operations for the Royal Canadian Navy's maritime coastal defence vessels.

The vessels assist the RCN in enforcing sovereignty in Canadian waters and provide the navy with a dedicated coastal defence capability.

Although their primary mission is coastal surveillance, the vessels perform a wide variety of operational tasks including search and rescue, fisheries and environmental monitoring, disaster relief, mine countermeasures and scientific research.

MDA, best-known as the maker of the robotic arms used on the International Space Station and the now-retired U.S. space shuttles, supplies technology to a variety of businesses that use satellites to collection information from space.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, the company's shares closed up 34 cents at $56.24 on Friday.