The Department of Homeland Security in September awarded contracts to three companies, L3 Technologies [LLL], Leidos [LDOS], and Smiths Detection to supply replacement radiation portal monitor (RPM) systems for deployment at U.S. ports.
The award is worth a combined $291.4 million and was announced via the Sept. 19 FedBizOpps website. The award was made by the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office.
A spokeswoman for the offices tells HSR that DHS is purchasing three systems from each vendor for system integration, stream of commerce, and operational testing.
“DHS could issue future delivery orders to a single vendor to procure and deploy all the systems, or could issue multiple delivery orders to more than one vendor, based on the planned testing results,” she says.
The contract allows for DHS to buy up to 200 of the replacement RPMs, which are operated by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP operates a fleet of between 1,300 and 1,400 RPMs, many of which were deployed in 2003 following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. and are approaching the end of their service life.
CBP uses the RPMs to passively scan cargo conveyances for potential radiological threats.
The RPM Replacement Program is aimed at providing CBP with systems that can be used in remote operations, which requires lower false alarm rates so that operators don’t need to be located with the systems. The new systems, which feature technology improvements, will also replace some of the aging legacy RPMs, and to meet requirements for additional systems due to port expansions and reconfigurations.
Smiths Detection is part of Britain’s Smiths Group.