Customs and Border Protection (CBP) awarded Mistral, Inc. a potential $50 million contract to on Thursday provide a Mobile Video Surveillance System (MVSS) as part of the agencies tailored technology approach for border security operations.

The MVSS systems will consist of day and night camera systems deployed on Border Patrol 4 x 4 vehicles. The systems will be deployed in certain urban, rural and remote areas that are difficult to access and monitor with other systems and will provide surveillance when intelligence indicates that items of interest are in or approaching an area. The agency says the systems will primarily be used for night time operations.

Remote Video Surveillance Systems used by CBP to track illegal border crossers. Photo: CBPRemote Video Surveillance Systems used by CBP to track illegal border crossers. Photo: CBP

An award announcement by CBP says that the initial value of the contract is worth $1.5 million. The contract, a small business set aside, has a five-year period, including four one-year options.

Mistral Inc. is part of the Mistral Group of companies. The company did not respond to a request to discuss its solution for the MVSS.

According to the MVSS Request for Proposal, which was issued in 2013, the surveillance systems will be deployed in Texas along the border with Mexico, beginning with the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol sector. CBP will initially acquire two units.

The MVSS is part of the larger Arizona Border Surveillance Technology Program managed by CBP. In July 2013 the agency awarded General Dynamics [GD] a $96 million contract for the Remote Video Surveillance System, or RVSS, which consists of pole-mounted day/night camera systems that will be deployed in certain southwest border areas in Arizona and Texas.

Earlier this year CBP awarded Israel’s Elbit Systems [ESLT] a $145 million contract for the Integrated Fixed Tower (IFT) system, which is the centerpiece of the Arizona technology plan. However, a protest by one of the losing bidders, in this case Raytheon [RTN], was upheld by the Government Accountability Office, forcing the agency to reevaluate both companies bids. The IFT includes ground-based radars, day/night cameras, and related communications links so that the sensors and sensor data can be controlled and viewed at Border Patrol stations on a common operating platform.

The technology plan also includes various other handdeld, portable and mobile sensor and communications systems.