Northrop Grumman snares Customs surveillance pilot

Northrop Grumman Corp. has won a five-year, $33.7 million contract to set up a pilot project for a border security surveillance system that eventually may be integrated into the upcoming Secure Border Initiative Network.

While the award made by the Customs and Border Protection agency is for a pilot project at 40 land ports, it is being billed as an adjunct to the estimated $2 billion SBI-Net comprehensive border surveillance network for the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada, which is scheduled to be awarded by Sept. 30.

Northrop Grumman leads one of five teams competing for that award.

"This pilot program is another investment in DHS' Secure Border Initiative and an adjunct to the SBI-Net acquisition, responsible for integrating personnel, technology, infrastructure and rapid response capability into a comprehensive border protection system," Kirk Evans, acting executive director for CBP's SBI Program Management Office, said in a news release.

"The pilot will be evaluated and based on performance results, may be integrated into the SBInet solution set," he said.

Evans also confirmed that the SBI-Net award will be made in September.
Under the agency's Border Security Development Program, Northrop Grumman will establish a surveillance system along more than 40 land border ports along the southern border with Mexico. The program already exists at 124 northern points of entry along the U.S.-Canada border.

Northrop Grumman's team for the pilot project includes New Technology Management
Inc., Reston, Va.; CLMS LLC, Arlington, Va.; and GRW, Inc., Muskogee,
Okla.

The pilot project contract would enhance current capabilities by adding new technologies, including digital imagery, motion detection, and remote monitoring, the press release said.

As part of the contract, Northrop Grumman's Information Technology unit will design and install the surveillance solution, train personnel and design and implement four regional command centers. The solution will include surveillance, communications, video analytics, network and IT components and archiving capabilities, Northrop Grumman said in a press release.

"Border security problems should be addressed with an integrated solution of processes, technology, infrastructure and rapid response capability, which will produce a comprehensive border protection system," Tom Arnsmeyer, Northrop Grumman vice president and program manager, said in a news release.

Northrop Grumman of Los Angeles has more than 125,000 employees and had annual revenue of $30.7 billion in fiscal 2005. The company ranks No. 2 on Washington Technology's 2006 Top 100 list of federal IT prime contractors.

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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