The decision by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) took some by surprise when it bypassed defense giant Lockheed Martin, which has managed the nuclear weapons lab for more than two decades.
New Mexico's three research universities — the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State and New Mexico Tech — had sought to play a prominent role in Sandia's management as part of a separate bid with other companies, but those bids failed.
Honeywell's wholly owned subsidiary, National Technology and Engineering Solutions (NTESS), will have the management and operating contract for Sandia. Northrop Grumman and Universities Research Association will support NTESS in the performance of the contract.
The award is valued at $2.6 billion annually over 10 years, if all options are exercised.
"Following a full and open competition, NNSA is pleased to announce the selection of NTESS as our partner at Sandia," said retired Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz, undersecretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA administrator.
"The Sandia bid generated unprecedented interest from across industry, demonstrating that our improved acquisitions process is attracting high-quality competition and the best talent to serve NNSA's mission," he added.
Sandia is responsible for non-nuclear engineering development of all U.S. nuclear weapons and for systems integration of the nuclear weapons with their delivery vehicles. Its national security responsibilities include design, qualification, certification and assessment of the nonnuclear subsystems and system qualification of nuclear weapons.
Sandia also leads the Nuclear Security Enterprise (NSE) in developing new technologies in the safety, security, reliability and use control of nuclear weapons, and it works closely with other NSE sites on issues associated with production and dismantlement of nuclear weapons, surveillance and support of weapons in the stockpile.
Other responsibilities include advancing technologies in nuclear intelligence, nonproliferation, and treaty verification.
In addition to Livermore and Albuquerque, Sandia has locations in Kauai, Hawaii and Tonopah, Nevada.
The current contract Sandia has with Lockheed Martin will expire April 30, allowing for a full four-month transition period, which will provide stability for the workforce employed under the current contract and efficient continuity of operations for NNSA's vital missions performed there.
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