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DHS to Open Bidding on $1B Border Surveillance Contract

Department of Homeland Security officials plan to open bidding in January 2012 on a 10-year $1 billion contract to replace a border surveillance project, according to a Nextgov.com report.

Aliya Sternstein reports that the Secure Border Initiative is being replaced with the Integrated Fixed Towers contract, which consists of towers equipped with ground radars and surveillance cameras and devices for command and control workstations capable of displaying captured images and data.

DHS officials request that the towers stand 120 feet high and can “detect a single, walking, average-sized adult human at a range of up to 7.5 miles” to enable Customs and Border Protection agents to completely oversee illicit border crossings, drug trafficking and other criminal activity.

DHS have also requested that the towers be able to withstand wind gusts of up to 15 miles per hour and that the equipment must be able to see a person even if foliage is blocking 95 percent of the individual for brief periods of time.

The GAO recently criticized Homeland Security for what it calls a neglect to include a realistic cost estimate of the first phase of the project entitled, the Arizona Technology Deployment Plan. DHS projects the plan will cost $1.5 billion.

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