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Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop, Raytheon, Ericsson Vie For SBInet

By | June 5, 2006

      Industry giants are set to battle over which firm the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will choose for the $2 billion Secure Border Initiative net (SBInet) contract that DHS is expected to award in September, a network that may include space assets.

      The Boeing Co. [BA], Ericsson Inc. [ERICY], Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT], Northrop Grumman Corp. [NOC], and Raytheon Co. [RTN] are battling for the prize.

      Each firm is stressing its ample experience in the border security area.

      DHS is moving to bolster border security as Congress is debating, hotly, how to deal with the issue, especially seeking means of stanching the flow of millions of illegal immigrants who are entering the United States across the border with Mexico.

      Some senators would like to provide a guest worker program permitting illegal immigrants to gain eventual citizenship, while many in the House oppose that move and seek instead a highly effective border control program that would prevent or at least reduce greatly any further illegal entry into the United States.

      Thye SBInet program, to guard U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico, will be led by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, which also will be leading the SBI program.

      Boeing Proposal

      SBInet would help the agencies to interdict cross-border violators between the ports and at official ports of entry. The northern and southern border environments are different, so the successful SBInet solution must adapt to these complex environments, Boeing stated.

      But precisely what Boeing will propose to DHS, the company hasn’t announced.

      With Boeing, the company “understands the magnitude of this task and the issues associated with its complexity,” said George Muellner, president of Boeing Advanced Systems. “In addition to homeland security experience, we have a long history of successful development and rapid deployment of sophisticated large-scale systems. One of these efforts involved installing airport Explosives Detection Systems for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration shortly following 9/11, where we handled more than 400 airports in less than six months. Other examples include the U.S. Army’s Future Combat System, the International Space Station and our latest commercial aircraft development, the 787 Dreamliner.”

      The Boeing SBInet team includes:

      • DRS Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group [DRS] (Palm Bay, Fla.) — DRS Technologies, headquartered in Parsippany, N.J., is a leading supplier of integrated products, services and support to military forces, intelligence agencies and prime contractors worldwide.
      • Kollsman (Merrimack, N.H.) — Kollsman, Inc., an Elbit Systems of America company, is a multi-disciplined research, development, manufacturing and support organization that provides advanced electro-optical and avionics systems to U.S. and foreign commercial and military markets.
      • L-3 Communications [LLL] (Washington, D.C.) — L-3 Government Services, Inc., is a provider of advanced integrated security suites designed to counter the variety of criminal and terrorist threats facing the nation. L-3 Communication Systems–West, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a leader in communication systems for intelligence collection, imagery processing and satellite communications.
      • Perot Systems [PER] (Plano, Texas)– Perot Systems is a worldwide provider of information technology services and business solutions. Through its flexible and collaborative approach, Perot Systems integrates expertise from across the company to deliver custom solutions that enable clients to accelerate growth, streamline operations and create new levels of customer value.
      • Unisys Global Public Sector [UIS] (Reston, Va.) — Unisys Global Public Sector has expertise in homeland security and law enforcement information systems and information technology infrastructure, engineering, operations and maintenance.

      The SBInet contract is expected to be awarded in September.

      Northrop Grumman

      Northrop Grumman also disclosed little about what it would provide for SBInet, beyond stating that it would involve “integrated technologies, infrastructure, rapid-response capability and personnel.” However, the company produces the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle that can cruise for hours at high altitudes as an intelligence-gathering eye in the sky. Global Hawks also can be used as nodes in a communications network, in place of satellites.

      And the company stressed its experience in the border security area.

      Northrop team members would include seven large partners, solutions providers, and a host of small businesses as well as partners providing community outreach, the company announced.

      The large partners include:

      • Anteon International Corp. [ANT.F] and SRA International, Fairfax, Va.
      • BearingPoint, Inc., McLean, Va.;
      • L. Robert Kimball & Associates, Ebensburg, Pa.
      • HNTB Corp., Kansas City, Mo.
      • L-3 Communications [LLL]
      • Titan Group, San Diego
      • General Dynamics Corp., Falls Church, Va. [GD].

      Northrop Grumman’s solutions providers include: EMC Corp. Hopkinton, Mass.; ESRI, Redlands, Calif.; Hughes Network Systems, LLC, Germantown, Md.; Motorola, Inc., Schaumberg, Ill.; Sprint/Nextel [S], Reston, Va.; Oracle Corp., Redwood Shores, Calif.; Identix, Minnetonka, Minn.; and Nortel, Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

      Ericsson, Inc.

      While Ericsson (Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson) is based in Stockholm, Sweden, it is leading an “America’s Border Security Group” team of subcontractors based in the border state of Texas, President Bush’s home state.

      Ericsson, along with the other contenders, didn’t disclose just what its proposed solution would include, but the company said it would be “using high-speed mobile broadband technology, integrating existing personnel, infrastructure and technology.”

      This solution is designed to meet the actual operational needs of Customs and Border Protection. It integrates both new and legacy technologies, Commercial Off-the-Shelf Technology (COTS) and Government Off-the-Shelf Technology (GOTS) software systems, a comprehensive concept of operations and rapid response capabilities to address Customs and Border Protection operational needs, the company stated. Embedded in the system is the ability to provide continuous refining and upgrading of operational processes, supporting technology and support to all law enforcement agencies.

      Ericsson’s Border and Area Security (EBAS) system is already operational in the European Union (EU) as part of the EU Schengen secure border surveillance project, according to the company..

      The Ericsson team includes:

      • Computer Sciences Corp. [CSC]
      • Fluor Corp. [FLR]
      • SYColeman Corp., a division of L3 Communications [LLL]
      • MTC Technologies
      • CAMBER Corp
      • AEP Networks, Inc.
      • Texas A&M University
      • The University of Texas at Austin.

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