Is a Billion-Dollar Border Security Program Finally Due?

May 14, 2013

The Department of Homeland Security has taken a positive step in one of the longer running procurement sagas of recent years, issuing downselect notices to several contractors to compete in the next phase of a controversial border security program, sources confirm.

Although details of which companies received the notices are still sketchy, DHS confirmed to Defense News that the notices went out late last week, and two people with knowledge of the program have offered that General Dynamics, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and the American arm of the Israeli company Elbit have been selected to demonstrate their solutions for the government’s Integrated Fixed Tower (IFT) solicitation.

A final contract award is expected in the September/October time frame of this year, a slight slip form the August target that had been floated earlier.

The IFT program is an ambitious attempt to install a series of surveillance towers along the US/Mexico border. The idea is to deploy a series of networked, integrated fixed towers (IFTs) equipped with radar and cameras that will “be able to detect a single, walking, average-sized adult” at a range of 5 miles to 7.5 miles during day or night, while sending close to real-time video footage back to agents manning a command post.

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