Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Monday said it expects to release a Request for Proposal around June 16 for screening systems that scan the cab of a truck at an energy level low enough for occupants to remain inside and then automatically switch to a higher-energy level to scan the cargo container section of the vehicle for contraband and other illicit items.
The acquisition of the multi-energy portal (MEP) systems is the key component to CBP’s plans to dramatically increase the percentage of commercial vehicles entering the U.S. at ports of entry nationwide in the next few years.
CBP said it will award a multiple award indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract from which it will place delivery orders. The contract will have a one-year base period and four one-year options.
Companies such as Leidos [LDOS], OSI Systems’ [OSIS] Rapiscan division, and others are expected to bid. CBP said the competition will be full and open.
Congress has appropriated close to $600 million for the purchase of large-scale non-intrusive inspection systems, which includes the MEP portal systems and passenger vehicle scanning systems, for deployment on the southwest border over the next few years to significantly enhance border security.
Current cargo inspection systems typically require the operator of the vehicle to exit the cab.
CBP currently scans 15 percent of commercial vehicles and 1 percent of passenger vehicles entering the U.S. at ports of entry and in the next few years aims to increase those percentages to 72 percent and 40 percent respectively.