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Computer Sciences Corp. said Friday it has won a contract worth up to $317 million to design a new system that will help the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to improve its computer modeling for weather forecasts.

The four-year contract will help NOAA, a federal agency, make more accurate models of global and regional climates to improve weather forecasting capabilities that are "critical to the protection of life and property," CSC said in a statement.

"We are proud to work with NOAA in helping the nation better understand how the Earth's climate is changing, which will aid in the development of adaptation and mitigation strategies," said Mike Gaffney, president of the Falls Church, Virginia company's Civil and Health Services Group.

The contract has a four-year option at the end of the first four years, plus a one-year transition option, CSC's statement said. The first-year cost is $49.3 million.

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