WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp on Thursday said it had won a contract worth up to $454 million to support the Pentagon's Cyber Crime Center, a government facility that investigates the growing number of attacks on U.S. government networks.

Lockheed beat out General Dynamics Corp, which previously ran the center, to win the contract in January, but the award was held up by a protest filed with the General Accountability Office.

General Dynamics had protested the contract award but dropped its protest after securing a subcontract with Lockheed, according to a source familiar with the decision.

Lockheed spokeswoman Darci Bushey declined comment on the role that General Dynamics would play on the new contract.

The company said it would deliver a full range of technical, functional, and managerial support to the lab, which helps investigate criminal, espionage and terrorist threats to government networks.

The center also provides support to the Defense Industrial Base, a pilot program that allows the U.S. government to swap data on cyber threats with 37 weapons makers and which is due to be expanded to 200 companies in coming months.

Lockheed said the contract has a ceiling value of $454 million if all options are exercised.

Lockheed, the largest provider of information technology to the federal government, said it would bring its extensive cyber analysis expertise to management of the center.

"Because of its size and importance, the (Department of Defense) is targeted by cyber criminals ranging from terrorists to spies to identity thieves," Lockheed said, noting that its team of cyber experts would help the government deal with the threat, which is growing in volume and complexity.

The company said its work will include digital and multimedia forensics examination, analysis, research, development, test and evaluation, information technology and cyber analytical services.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Gary Hill)