Uncle Sam has tapped a North Charleston plant to help tighten security at the gated entrances of U.S. Army bases throughout the country.

BAE Systems, a British defense giant with about 400 local workers, recently won a $95 million contract to upgrade security systems at the entrances to the installations.

The three-year contract will enable the company to hire about 50 additional local workers.

The security systems, which will be assembled and tested in the Lowcountry, will be built with the usual components, such as cameras, gate arms and lights.

Army officials also wanted the systems to come with highly sophisticated scanning equipment that can record an approaching vehicle's information, run a background check on the owner and forward that information to a network of federal databases, said Kris Busch, vice president of BAE's local operation.

"That all happens in nanoseconds," Busch said.

The contract award fits in with BAE's plan to expand its North Charleston office during the next few years.

Company officials said last summer that they were working on a handful of contracts that, if received, would boost local employment to 600 workers.

Last fall the company won a $233 million contract to provide information technology services for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Center Atlantic on the Naval Weapons Station in Hanahan.

Job openings related to both contracts will be posted at www.baesystems.com/careers.