The Atlas Consortium said Tuesday that the agreement for the project, known as the Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) plan, could be expanded once the first stage has been completed. The budget for all three stages is 4 billion pounds ($7.6 billion), which means the add-on work could total another $3 billion.
The group, which beat rivals for the defense contract earlier in March, also includes Fujitsu Services, General Dynamics, EADS Defense and Security Systems and LogicaCMG. EDS' slice of the deal is the largest project booked by the IT services andsince a 2002 Bank of America contract, the company said.
Under the terms of the deal, Atlas will consolidate the Ministry of Defence's existing information networks into a single infrastructure, which the ministry has identified as an integral component of its future military strategy.
The new network is expected to facilitate communication between military headquarters, battlefield support and front-line operations. It will link roughly 150,000 desktop computers and 340,000 individuals in some 2,000 locations, the consortium said.
EDS has drawn criticism in the past over its work for the, the U.K. tax authority, and . It , related to its ability to deliver on a $6 billion contract it signed with the U.S. Navy in 2000.
Tony Hallett of Silicon.com contributed to this report.