Elbit Systems Ltd., an Israeli international company engaged in multiple defense programs, has won a $145 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security.
Elbit Systems Ltd. (ESLT), a Haifa, Israel-based international defense electronics company involved in a wide range of programs worldwide, has won a $145 million contract for border-surveillance technology, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Sunday.
“The project, called Integrated Fixed Tower Project (IFT), will see security posts equipped with radars and cameras that can detect human movement along the American state’s southern frontier,” the Jerusalem Post explained. “The work will be carried out by Elbit’s US subsidiary, Elbit Systems of America, which is based at Fort Worth, Texas.”
“The current contract is for 12 months, and the department has options which it may exercise of several years,” Globes stated. “The observation towers to be installed along the US-Mexican border include sensors for spotting, tracking, and classifying intelligence across the border, as well as command and control centers.”
Arizona Senator John McCain welcomed the announcement, issuing the following statement:
“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. After many months of delay, the awarding of this contract to Elbit Systems of America is an important development toward fully securing the border in Arizona. 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.”
“The American people have long expected us to secure our borders. The awarding of this contract is a step in the right direction,” McCain declared.
The company expects it will take approximately a year to complete construction of the defense towers.
“The program may eventually reach $1 billion if legislation to rewrite U.S. immigration laws passes Congress and helps fund the project’s expansion in the Southwest,” said Brian Friel, a Bloomberg Industries analyst.
“The defense electronics company beat some of the top U.S. government contractors, including Lockheed Martin Corp., General Dynamics Corp. and Taytheion Co.,” Friel said, as reported on Bloomberg.com. “The department stopped funding for the original border-surveillance system, led by Boeing Co., after delays and technical issues.”
“It is odd to go offshore for this work, but in extraordinary circumstances, one really wants to employ the best,” added 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 “liable to be much further advanced in this particular arena,” Amtower said, according to Bloomberg.
Elbit Systems shares are traded on the Nasdaq National Market (NASDAQ) under the symbol “ESLT” and on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).
Date: March 2, 2014