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CBP ready to procure first of possibly six Integrated Fixed Towers in Arizona

One likely IFT site
in State of Arizona

Customs and Border Protection issued a formal solicitation on April 6 for a much-discussed purchase of “integrated fixed towers” (IFT), essentially stationary towers that will be erected initially in the State of Arizona to carry video surveillance, radar and other sensors to help the U.S. Border Patrol spot illegal intruders.

“The IFT procurement is one element of a broader CBP strategy to rapidly acquire non-developmental (and ideally commercially available) systems to support border protection efforts,” explains the CBP solicitation, which echoed a description of the strategy outlined earlier by Mark Borkowski, a CBP official, in an article published by Government Security News on Jan. 20, 2012. “The technology combines with other resources and capabilities, notably personnel, infrastructure, and intelligence, to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of our border protection efforts.”

CBP envisions awarding a single firm fixed-price contract to one vendor based on “full and open competition,” says the notice. It plans to procure “fully-integrated, non-developmental IFT systems that encompass open system architecture…”

One vendor interested in this program, Vumii Imaging, Inc., contributed an article to GSN last Month that described many of the technical aspects of this important CBP program.

Prospective vendors have until April 13 to submit any questions to Timothy Evans at [email protected], and have until May 21 to submit their complete proposal.

The first integrated tower will be installed in the Border Patrol’s Nogales, Arizona “area of responsibility.” Five additional systems might be installed in Arizona, if all options in the proposed contract are ultimately exercised. CBP anticipates that it will take about eight and a half years to erect all six towers in Arizona. The solicitation does not identify any other proposed locations in any other border state.

“The procurement will consist of surveillance equipment (e.g., ground surveillance radars and surveillance cameras) mounted on fixed (i.e., stationary) tower(s); all necessary power generation and communications equipment to support these tower sites; and command and control (C2) center equipment (including one or more operator workstations) capable of displaying information received from surveillance towers on a [common operating picture],” says the solicitation.


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