The US Army has awarded a $318m contract to Lockheed Martin to provide operational support services for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organisation (JIEDDO) analytical support teams operating in Iraq and Afghanistan.

JIEDDO develops efforts to defeat improvised explosive devices and works in coordination with the US Department of Defense.

The specialist counter-IED teams deployed in Afghanistan are providing IED forensics and technical intelligence to US Army and US Marine Corps battalions under a recently launched programme called Tidal Sun.

Each team includes five or six specialists who examine explosive signatures, chemical traces and blast patterns to picture the way IED attack happened.

Data collected from the analysis will be sent to the relevant military agencies for external analysis.

Work will be carried out in Iraq and Afghanistan and is expected to be complete by 31 December 2012.

The contract is part of a operational support services contract awarded by the US Army Research Development and Engineering Command in April 2008.