The White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico is the US military's largest facility in the country, and even though it's tucked away in the desert near the US-Mexico border and 400 miles from any sailable body of water, the US Navy has its own corner of the complex where it tests advanced weapons, according to The Drive.
The Naval Surface Warfare Center for over six decades has tested the Navy's newest weapons, from rockets and missile systems to their most recent projects, including "land-based weapons system testing, directed energy weapons testing [that's lasers, folks] and research rocket launch support," according to the base website.
Over the years they've accumulated roughly 4,000 pounds of IT equipment, including magnetic, optical and solid-state storage devices, which they now need burned "to ash," Nextgov reported on Monday.
Companies bidding on the contract have to meet some stiff requirements when it comes to security, though. After all, these are the drives holding test data for the US Navy's newest tech. The incineration facility must have "at the minimum, secure entry, 24-hour armed guards and 24/7 camera surveillance with recordable date and time capabilities," the ad notes.
In addition, it must be within 10 hours' driving distance from the facility which, as we've noted, is in the middle of the New Mexico desert.
Further, the materials will only be handled by federal employees, who will remain on-site during the destruction, which the center estimates should take eight to 10 hours at most. The facility will have 10 days to finish the job once it starts, Nextgov notes.
Interested bidders should apply by February 8.
But we're wondering: if the laser weapon they've developed is so great, how come they aren't using it to incinerate the drives?