The Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded a $526 million contract to Martin Marietta Corp. yesterday for the upgrading and modernizing of the federal agency's telecommunications and data-processing operations.
Under the terms of the 12-year pact, HUD's two telecommunications networks will be combined into one linking the agency's Washington headquarters to a new data center in Lanham, in Prince George's County. The agency's 81 field offices also will be tied into the network.
About 100 people will be involved in the preliminary phases at the Lanham center. Employment is expected to jump to about 300 by next year. David Sutton, a spokesman for Martin, said the work force will be a mix of new hires and current employees.
Mr. Sutton said the award is another major step in the company's program to lessen its dependency on defense contracts.
Martin recently was awarded contracts by the U.S. Postal Service to produce automated mail-processing machines; by Pratt & Whitney and General Electric Co. for jet-engine thrust reversers; and by the Australian Civil Aviation Authority to help modernize that country's air-traffic controls. Combined, the contracts total more than $1 billion in new business.
Norman R. Augustine, Martin chairman and chief executive, said in a prepared statement: "These new programs advance our strategy of broadening the corporation's business base, moving further into related fields of high technology, where we have experience and exceptional resources."
He said the HUD contract is expected to have a positive effect on the company's 1991 operating earnings and a significant effect on financial statements into the next century.