Boeing wins SBInet work on northern border

Boeing Co. will build video surveillance systems along the U.S.-Canada border under a new contract.

Boeing Co. will deploy video surveillance cameras and networks at the border of the United States and Canada near Detroit and Buffalo under a one-year, $20 million task order.

The specific locations where the equipment willl be installed are along the St. Clair River near Detroit and the Upper Niagara River near Buffalo, company officials said March 31. 

The SBInet Northern Border Project will replicate the SBInet system that is comprised of cameras, radars and networks mounted on towers being installed for the border patrol along the border of Arizona and Mexico. Its implementation along the northern border will provide a “proof-of-concept” to determine its capabilities in that environment, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a news release.

Boeing Intelligence and Security Systems’ Security Solutions Division will install 16 towers with remote video surveillance systems that will monitor the coastal, maritime and river activities at the northern border. Construction of five towers will begin in May along the Upper Niagara River near Buffalo and of 11 towers will be constructed in July along the St. Clair River near Detroit.

“The Northern Border Project technology deployment will provide lessons learned that will enable [CBP] to design better-tailored, longer-term technology options for the Northern Border,” Mark Borkowski, executive director of the Secure Border Initiative, said in a March 31 statement. “It will also provide an immediate enhancement of capability to support the CBP agents and officers operating in the Detroit and Buffalo Sectors.”

Construction is expected to be completed by year’s end, and the task order demonstration period terminates on March 31, 2010.

Boeing became prime contractor for SBInet in September 2006 and completed installation of its first 28-mile prototype segment in Arizona in February 2008. Construction of the first permanent operational 53-mile segment in Arizona is slated to begin in weeks.

SBInet, which is projected to cost about $12 billion for coverage of the land border of the U.S. and Mexico, has been controversial due to technology glitches and delays. The final operational testing for the first permanent segment has been ongoing since December.

Boeing ranks No. 2 on Washington Technology's 2008 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.