DHS narrows competitive field for Secure Border Initiative

Three federal contractors?Ericsson Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Co.? confirmed today that they are among a small number of companies named by the Homeland Security Department as most qualified to bid for the prime contract for Secure Border Initiative-Net, the nation's upcoming $2 billion border surveillance system.

An official with Ericsson of Plano, Texas, said the company has teamed with L-3 Communications Inc. of New York and Computer Sciences Corp. of El Segundo, Calif., to prepare its bid. "We are going to bid, and we do have L-3 and CSC on our team, exclusively," the Ericsson official said today.

Sources say Northrop Grumman Corp. of Los Angeles and Boeing Co. of Chicago. also are on the list of five companies identified this week by DHS as best qualified to meet the needs of the procurement.

"I would call it a prequalification," said a spokesman for one of the contractors. "We all move forward" in the competition, said another spokesman.

Northrop Grumman and DHS officials could not be reached immediately. Boeing spokesman Tim Neale said the government has asked the company not to comment.

The long-awaited request for proposals for the comprehensive border surveillance will be released today, DHS' Customs and Border Protection announced in an update posted on its Web site. The system will include video cameras and sensors on multiple platforms, both stationery and mobile, and will be integrated with border patrol communication systems.

Raytheon of Waltham, Mass., previously announced it is teaming with IBM Corp. of Armonk, N.Y., BAE Systems Inc., Rockville, Md., and Bechtel National Inc., Frederick, Md.

Lockheed Martin is based in Bethesda, Md.

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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