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Blog Post

GD’s Border Surveillance System Achieves Full Operating Capability

By Calvin Biesecker at Defense Daily

April 12, 2017

General Dynamics [GD] on Tuesday said a surveillance system it is supplying for security along sections of the United States’ southwest border in Arizona has achieved full operating capability (FOC).

The Remote Video Surveillance System (RVSS) sensor suites consist of medium and long-range electro-optic and infrared sensors, a laser illuminator, and spotlights, Peter Howard, senior director of Business Development for Global Solutions at GD’s Information Technology division, told Defense Daily in an email response to questions.

The sensors are located on elevated towers and structures to provide persistent surveillance to Border Patrol agents. The system includes an “intuitive video management system with real-time analytics to effectively detect, track, identify, classify and respond to missions along U.S. borders,” GD said.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in 2013 awarded GD One Source a 10-year, $115 million contract for the RVSS system. The company achieved initial operating capability in the fall of 2015 and FOC was achieved in December 2016.

“The deployment of the Remote Video Surveillance System is important to the safety of our agents and to our mission,” Ronald Vitiello, chief of the Border Patrol, said in a statement.

“Reaching a full operating capability designation is a testament to both the effectiveness of the RVSS solution and our continued partnership with CBP,” Dan Busby, vice president of GD Information Technology division’s IT Services and Solutions sector.

There are over 65 RVSS sites currently operating in Nogales, Douglas, Naco, Yuma, and Ajo, Ariz., and deployments of relocatable systems are planned in McAllen and Laredo, Texas, this year. Beyond 2017, CBP plans to deploy RVSS systems across the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector with the potential for further deployments at additional southwest and northern border locations.

GD said that it recently received an award from CBP for the design and delivery of Relocatable-RVSS. The R-RVSS are mounted to retractable masts that can extend up to 80-feet and are integrated with trailers. The mobile systems can be setup in minutes.

GD One Source includes the company’s IT and Mission Systems divisions. PureTech Systems is a subcontractor to GD on the program and is responsible for providing its software suite for full motion video, target detection, sensor control and geospatial user interface.

Before its contract with GD, CBP had purchased some RVSS systems from Boeing for use in select areas along the northern border.

CBP’s virtual security fence along the southern border also includes the Integrated Fixed Tower system, which consists of cameras, radars and related communications systems, various mobile surveillance systems, and unattended ground sensors.