Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in late October awarded Tactical Micro a potential $50 million contract to provide a mobile surveillance system for border security under the Mobile Video Surveillance System (MVSS) program, more than a year after the agency originally awarded the contract to another company.

Tactical Micro, part of Secure Technology Company, received an initial $596,000 for deliver of two MVSS units, along with a year of contractor maintenance and logistics support. The initial order also includes associated program management activities.

An MVSS consists of day and night camera systems fitted on telescopic poles mounted on Border Patrol 4 x 4 vehicles. The systems will be used mostly for nighttime operations but daytime use will occur.

The systems will be deployed to provide surveillance when intelligence indicators signal that items of interest are in or approaching an area, CBP says. They will also be used to augment fixed surveillance systems that have line-of-sight coverage gaps caused by existing infrastructure, terrain, or vegetation.

The RFP for the MVSS was issued in 2013 and stated that the systems would be deployed in Texas long the border with Mexico, beginning with the Rio Grande Valley Sector.

The award to Tactical Micro is a small business set aside. CBP originally awarded the MVSS contract to Mistral, Inc. in July 2014 but following a protest by a losing bidder the agency decided to withdraw the contract and redo the procurement.  The award to Tactical Micro was also protested but was ultimately rejected.

Tactical Micro did not return phone calls for comment about the MVSS contract. On its website, Tactical Micro features its Eagle MVSS system that mounts in the bed of standard and full-size pick-up trucks. Fully extended, the mast can reach up to 30 feet and handle a 100-pound payload, the company says.

The MVSS system is part of a tailored approach CBP is taking to providing border security technology, particularly along the nation’s southern border. The various technology systems that have been deployed to one degree or another include the Integrated Fixed Towers, Remote Video Surveillance Systems, MVSS, tethered aerostats with sensors onboard, various man-portable systems such as tri-pod mounted sensors and handheld night vision systems, and unattended ground sensors.