After months of testing, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps signed a $6.1 billion dollar contract for it's new intranet (internal Internet system.) The contractor, EDS, will finish setting up the intranet and provide maintenance. The intranet will enable ships and units to use Internet software and technology for communications world wide, without having to worry (too much, anyway) about security problems, viruses and hackers. The new network, to be in operation within 18 months, will replace hundreds of current networks with one, standardized and secure system. The navy believes that Internet technology will increasingly become a major component of military power.