Customs and Border Protection on Monday said the release of a draft request for proposals (RFP) for its new integrated approach to border surveillance towers is being delayed from December until the first quarter of 2022.

The agency didn’t provide a reason for the delay in the Integrated Surveillance Tower (IST) Consolidated Tower & Surveillance Equipment (CTSE) draft RFP but this fall said that it has been substantially revising the document based on industry feedback to a draft RFP released in December 2020. At that time, the program was known as Towers, Power, Instrumentation, and Communications (TPIC).

Originally, CBP has planned to award one or more contracts for TPIC in the first quarter of 2022.

The earlier draft RFP for TPIC called for short, medium and long-range surveillance systems to detect items of interest in remote and rural areas along the nation’s borders. The tower portion of the program called for fixed or relocatable towers with elevated sensors and communications. The sensors will be integrated with a new common operating picture that will be a separate procurement.

A notice published by CBP in late October on the government’s business opportunities site said that “The CTSE solicitation is less prescriptive and allows industry more flexibility and latitude to propose innovative solutions that meet or exceed the government’s functional requirements.”

CBP’s Border Patrol agents currently operate various persistent tower surveillance systems, including the Integrated Fixed Towers and Remote Video Surveillance System-Upgrade equipped with sensors for detecting, tracking, identifying and classifying items of interest. The towers can be fixed or relocatable and are connected to a command-and-control center.