Pictured in this undated photo are several aerostats seen inside the hangar at the TCOM LP facility in Weeksville.

WEEKSVILLE — A national defense contractor with a facility in Elizabeth City has been awarded a near billion-dollar contract by the U.S. Department of Defense.

TCOM L.P. has been awarded a $979 million Army Tethered Aerostat Support contract by the U.S. Department of Defense, according to a news release issued Friday.

TCOM specializes in the production of unmanned tethered aerostats that can be deployed for long-term defense operations that require intelligence gathering, surveillance and aerial reconnaissance, otherwise known as ISR.

“We highly value the opportunity to be in partnership with the U.S. Army to support this critical mission,” Ron Bendlin, president and CEO of TCOM, said in a prepared statement. “This win results from continuous investment in our corporate strategy and valued employees, further advancing our position as a global leader in delivering integrated ISR solutions to the Department of Defense. We look forward to building on this opportunity to help serve the needs of the U.S. military as well as allied nations with similar needs.”

TCOM will provide engineering, logistics, operations and program management support for the Army’s Persistent Surveillance Systems-Tethered Program, the release states.

TCOM anticipates contract work to occur simultaneously at its Elizabeth City facility, plus additional sites in Columbia and Aberdeen, Maryland; Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania and in Yuma, Arizona.

The estimated completion date for the work is June 2024, the release states.

TCOM’s Elizabeth City facility is tasked with the manufacturing and flight testing of its aerostats. It’s also TCOM’s East Coast hub for airship maintenance and assembly, according to a marketing spokesman whose company represents TCOM.

It’s not uncommon for residents to see one of TCOM’s aerostats hovering over the Weeksville area, where the firm is located off TCOM Drive at the end of Toxey Road.