Aerospace giants lead Secure Border teams

At a glance: Border Security Initiative

Agency: Homeland Security Department

Value:$2 billion

Purpose: Build a network of sensors, cameras and other technologies that will monitor U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada.

Schedule: Request for proposals is expected in March, with an award coming in September.

Bidders:

Lockheed Martin Corp.

Bethesda, Md.

www.lockheedmartin.com

Northrop Grumman Corp.

Los Angeles

www.northropgrumman.com

Raytheon Co.

Lexington, Mass.

www.raytheon.com

Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Raytheon Co. each are putting together teams to compete for the Homeland Security Department's anticipated contract to set up an integrated network of sensors and cameras along the U.S. northern and southern borders.

The Secure Border Initiative (SBI), first announced by Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff in November, is expected to be one of the department's largest contracts, with an estimated value of $2 billion.

It replaces the former America's Shield Initiative, a similar but less comprehensive border control program linking cameras and sensors along 2,000 miles of borders with Canada and Mexico. SBI is expected to be at least as large as ? possibly even larger than ? America's Shield, according to Input Inc., Reston, Va.

DHS officials said at an industry day Feb. 9 that they expect to issue a request for proposals for the project in March and make an award in September.

Northrop Grumman is definitely planning to bid on Secure Border, said spokeswoman Juli Ballesteros. "We've gone public with that," she added.

Lockheed Martin also is putting together a team. "Lockheed Martin is currently putting together the best industry team and technology and will propose a solution that will enable our government to obtain operational control of our borders," spokesman Jeff Adams said.

Raytheon intends to be a prime contractor as well. "Raytheon is extremely interested in the Secure Boarder Initiative and will be priming a team," a Raytheon spokesman wrote in an e-mail.

Other companies that have expressed interest in competing for the award include General Dynamics Corp. and Textron Inc., according to press reports from the financial news outlet Bloomberg.

Staff Writer Alice Lipowicz can be reached at alipowicz@postnewsweektech.com.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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