Spanish telco Telefónica has been awarded a defense contract by the Spanish Ministry of Defense worth €80.3 million ($85.5m).

As reported by Expansion, the telco has been tasked with the deployment of the telecommunications transport network known as 'I3D' (Comprehensive Information Infrastructure for Defense).

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The contract also includes the deployment of a dark fiber network.

Telefónica has won three of the four lots for the I3D, which is the new communications and information network for senior government officials and the Armed Forces.

The remaining contract, worth €3.3m ($3.5m) was awarded to submarine cable company Balalink, to support the dark fiber connection of the Valencia-Mallorca subsea cable.

Last year, Telefónica was awarded five government contracts worth €170m ($180m). The company has strong ties to the government, which is on target to be the telco's biggest stakeholder.

The Spanish government acquired a three percent stake in the carrier last month, purchasing it through the state-holding company Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI).

SEPI bought 175 million shares, worth around €698 million ($757m), with the government targeting an eventual 10 percent stake.

The Spanish government said last year it planned to buy into Telefónica to stave off interest from Saudi Arabian telecoms company STC Group.

STC Group agreed to pay $2.25 billion to take a 9.9 percent stake in Telefónica in September, making it the biggest shareholder in the company at the time. This will now be surpassed by the Spanish government.

The Saudi company has said it does not intend to “acquire control or a majority stake” in the Telefónica.