Boeing lays out SBI strategy

The Boeing Co. team competing for the upcoming $2 billion Secure Border Initiative Network surveillance system contract is touting its experience in managing large groundbreaking projects for the government as well as Israeli-based expertise in border security.

Boeing?which is leading one of five teams competing for the Homeland Security Department contract?hopes to capitalize on its experience managing similar one-of-a-kind programs such as the Army's Future Combat Systems and NASA's International Space Station, Wayne Esser, capture team leader of the Boeing team, told Washington Technology. Boeing is lead systems integrator for the combat systems and prime contractor for the space station.

"This is a big challenge for DHS, and we at Boeing have the experience and the processes in place to succeed with complex, politically challenging, high-risk programs," Esser said.

Boeing's team members include systems integrator Unisys Corp. as well as a Merrimack, N.H. surveillance technology firm, Kollsman Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Elbit Systems Ltd. of Haifa, Israel.

Elbit, which handles a large portion of Israel's border security surveillance system, provides "invaluable expertise" to the Boeing team, Esser said. The border solutions deployed in Israel includes integrated sensors, radars, a "smart fence" and cameras as well as sophisticated points of entry, he said. However, not all of Elbit's expertise in Israel is applicable in SBI-Net because of cultural differences and because of Israel's desire for a "locked-down" border vs. America's more open flow of commerce and people, he added.

Boeing will deploy unmanned aerial vehicles as sensor platforms in its SBI-Net proposal but not as a primary source of surveillance. The UAVs to be used are small and can be launched easily for a reconnaissance or surveillance mission, Esser said.

While not including facial recognition technology in its initial SBI-Net proposal, the Boeing's team's plan does allow for a specific form of the technology expected to be available in the spring of 2007, Esser said. "We are looking at a technology that is advanced and can pick a face in the crowd."

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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