Sep 24, 2010 (09:09 AM EDT)
Northrop Wins $2.63 Billion Homeland Security Contract

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The General Services Administration (GSA) has awarded Northrop Grumman a $2.63 billion contract to build the IT and communications infrastructure for a massive federal construction project -- the building of a consolidated Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters.

The firm has won a 10-year contract to help ensure the IT infrastructure for the new headquarters is developed in parallel with the construction project, which started a little over a year ago.

When the project is complete, the 22 agencies of the DHS will be located together on the campus of the former St. Elizabeth hospital in the Anacostia community of southeast Washington. Currently, the department spans 35 offices.

The undertaking is the largest federal construction project in Washington since the Pentagon was built in the early 1940s.

Northrop is in charge of the design, configuration, installation, testing, and maintenance of a seamless, integrated communications infrastructure for the new campus, which is expected to be completed by 2016.

The firm also must meet small-business requirements for the contract; 40% of its subcontracting dollars must go to small businesses, according to the GSA.

The infrastructure must meet specific sustainability goals that require the development of a passive optical network to optimize power consumption by as much as 80%, according to the GSA.

It also must allow all components and agencies within the DHS to share information securely and in real-time across an integrated communications network.

The GSA chose Northrop for the project because the firm met specific requirements for the project to build infrastructure that is easily adaptable as technologies evolve and will support all security levels and technologies, according to the agency.

Northrop also demonstrated that it could develop infrastructure flexible enough to adapt each phase of development to the physical construction project.