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UPDATE 1-Northrop posts higher Q3 profit, raises FY forecast again

(Adds details on results, full-year forecast)

Oct 25 (Reuters) - Northrop Grumman Corp reported higher quarterly profit and revenue, boosted by strength in its aerospace business, and the U.S. defense contractor raised its full-year profit forecast for the third time this year.

The weapons maker raised its full-year profit forecast to $12.90-$13.10 per share from $12.10-$12.40 and said it expected revenue of about $25.50 billion, up from the low-$25 billion range it estimated earlier.

Sales at Northrop's aerospace business, which makes manned aircraft, drones and spacecraft, rose 10.8 percent to $3.08 billion in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.

The business is expected to benefit from increased demand for F-35 fighter jets, for which Northrop supplies the center fuselage.

Northrop's results come a day after larger rival Lockheed Martin Corp, the prime contractor for the F-35 program, said it expected sales of the jets to increase 13-15 percent in 2018, after rising 16 percent this year.

Northrop Grumman said last month it would buy Orbital ATK Inc for about $7.8 billion in a deal that gives it greater access to lucrative government contracts and expands its arsenal of missile defense systems and space rockets.

Northrop's net income rose to $645 million, or $3.68 per share, from $602 million, or $3.35 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $6.53 billion.

Up to Monday's close, the company's shares had risen about 26 percent this year. (Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Savio D'Souza)