$390M border security contract moves forward

DHS says its close to demo phase for SBI replacement

The Homeland Security Department is moving toward the demonstration phase of the reworked system once known as the Secure Border Initiative.

SBI was declared a failure by DHS, after the agency spent $1 billion on the project, which covered 50 miles with a virtual border fence. Boeing Co. was the prime contractor on that project.

This new attempt, valued at $390 million, was launch in April, and bidders are reported to include Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and a team led by General Dynamics and EADS. DHS wants to build the virtual fence using integrated fixed towers.

In an update published Thursday, DHS said the demonstration phase would begin by mid-third quarter of 2013, which begins April 1 and runs through June 30.

However, before, the department said the demonstrations would be after a “competitive range decision.” In other words, DHS will narrow the field for the demonstrations.

Deltek estimated that an award to build the system will be made before the end of the government fiscal year in September.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

Reader Comments

Thu, May 2, 2013

I've seen the new version of this technology & it's laughable. Optical & heat sensing technology used is out dated. The internal non-integrated networking is atrocious, and the thing barely functions. The amount of false positives as outlined by poster #1 still occur, but there's a minor system in place to add exceptions to constant false positive locations. Bottom line, for the price, even at the round 2 lower bid is a joke. The money's not on an equal level to the project on any spectrum.

Mon, Apr 22, 2013 Alan Alabama

It was actually a software failure. There was no Kalman filtering to do sensor fusion, and all they got was continuous false alarms. Some simple artificial intelligence and the thing would have worked perfectly and have been almost completely autonomous. They wouldn't listen to me.

Sat, Feb 23, 2013 ERS Michigan

Anyone who believes SBInet was any kind of success for our agency should be fired. Not only was it failure, but it never stood a chance. They could have asked the Agents in the field and they would have told them that but they didn't. Just like these groups won't either and it will be another crime committed on the tax payers. Someone will get a cushy job or help out a cousin though. Right David Aguilar?

Tue, Feb 19, 2013

A billion dollars for 50 miles ! That's a huge failure on over site of this project and to allow Boeing to laugh all the way to the bank on the taxpayers expense. Atleast it was caught by somebody ! Maybe Boeing should be ban from the bid least. Just a thought.

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 BW United States

Both comments have merit, but JRS has it right. Having served on the border, what the taxpayer suffered here was politics at its worst. The technology worked, but the administration that gave birth to SBInet lost the White House, thus SBInet was doomed. Neither party however has the will/courage to enforce our immigration laws.

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