CBP awards $145 million border towers contract to Elbit6 March 2014DHS’s Customs and Border Protection(CBP) has awarded Elbit Systems of America, a subsidiary of Israeli based Elbit Systems, a $145 million contract for the Integrated Fixed Tower (IFT) project along the Mexico-Arizona border. The first phase of the project includes a number of observation towers along the Nogales, Arizona border with Mexico. Additional options could include towers at over five other border sections in Arizona.The contract covers eight years of support from Elbit Systems.
“Arizonans have been waiting more than a decade for the Department of Homeland Security to place the needed technology along our border to support the Border Patrol and fully secure our Southern border,” U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) said. “If this technology is developed, integrated and fielded correctly, these Integrated Fixed Towers in Southern Arizona, coupled with the tremendous work of the Border Patrol, will give our agents the ability to detect, evaluate, and respond to all illegal entries crossing our border,” McCain added.
By issuing the IFT project to Elbit Systems, DHS bypassed some of its biggest American contractors to employ an Israeli company to help secure U.S. borders. “It is odd to go offshore for this work, but in extraordinary circumstances, one really wants to employ the best,” Bloomberg quoted Mark Amtower, a partner at Amtower & Co., a government contracting consulting firm in Clarksville, Maryland. “A company with a track record of doing this work in Israel is likely to be much further advanced in this particular arena,” Amtower said.
Elbit Systems has deployed several border protection systems, including hundreds of kilometers of the separation line border fence between Israel and the Palestinian Authority....