The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) last Friday awarded Analogic a potential $781.2 million contract to provide more next-generation carry-on baggage scanners and related automated security lanes at airport security checkpoints in the U.S., a major win for the company that solidifies its position at the moment as the leading provider of the checkpoint computed tomography (CT) systems to TSA.
The contract includes up to 469 base and 469 full-size systems, which combined with more than 600 checkpoint CT systems TSA previously awarded contracts for will take the agency a long way toward its goal of deploying around 2,400 of the CT scanners.
However, the timing of awarding the full $781.2 million is unclear and likely depends on future appropriations.
A TSA spokesman told Defense Daily on Friday that the initial orders cover 19 base and 19 mid-size systems, valued at $5.3 million and $9.8 million, respectively, with additional orders expected in fiscal year 2022 once the agency receives its full appropriation in the coming weeks and months.
“The total expected systems quantities to be procured in FY22 are 36 full size and 103 base units, remaining consistent with the agency CT deployment strategy established during the mid-size deployments,” he said.
Airport deployments under the new contract are expected to begin this summer.
President Biden early last week signed the FY ’22 omnibus spending bill so agencies and departments are still in the process of digesting the new funds.
That bill only included just under $105 million for the checkpoint CT systems, so it may take future appropriations to fill out the award to Analogic. Pekoske said last year that the checkpoint CT program needs about $350 million annually to complete deployments within five years.
Analogic is currently the only company on TSA’s Advanced Capabilities List to provide the checkpoint CT systems, one industry official told Defense Daily. Integrated Defense and Security Solutions, Leidos [LDOS] and Smiths Detection have also been vying for TSA’s checkpoint CT work.
Analogic in August 2021 won a $198 million contract to provide 314 mid-size CT systems, which are currently being installed at some U.S. airports. TSA in March 2019 awarded Smiths Detection $97 million for the first 300 checkpoint CT systems, all of which have been deployed.
“These awards are another important step in enhancing aviation security,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement. “They provide our dedicated frontline officers with one of the best tools available to screen passenger carry-on items and also improves the passenger experience by allowing passengers to keep more items in their carry-on bags during the screening process.”
The checkpoint CT systems provide the operator with a virtual three-dimensional image of a bag’s contents to improve threat detection and include automated threat detection algorithms that allow passengers to leave their personal electronics and laptop computers inside their bags, thereby speeding processing at the checkpoint. The scanners also allow security officers to virtually rotate a bag, giving the operator a better view of its contents.
The CT technology is what powers the explosive threat detection systems used to rapidly and automatically scan checked bags for explosives.
Under the base model, Analogic will provide its ConneCT system and the gravity rollers that feed and unload bags on either end, as well as a manual diverter. The full-size systems include the scanner, automated conveyors with a parallel divesting lane for suspicious bags, automated bin return, and a high-threat containment capability.
The earlier mid-size award to Analogic included the powered conveyors, an automatic divert capability for suspect bags, primary and alternate viewing stations, and the bins.
All the awards to Analogic have been made under the checkpoint property screening system effort, which includes a higher detection standard than the first contract to Smiths, which was made as part of the previous advanced technology (AT)/CT program.
The wins should give Analogic a strong foundation for international sales given that TSA is often seen as the gold standard when it comes to deploying aviation security detection equipment.
The CT systems are replacing AT X-ray systems, which have been supplied by Smiths and OSI Systems’ [OSIS] Rapiscan division. The legacy AT systems don’t feature the 3D imaging capabilities and while the suppliers touted the ability of their machines to eventually be used for automated threat detection, TSA never used these capabilities.