General Dynamics [GD] on Wednesday said it has completed the initial field deployment and test of the Remote Video Surveillance System (RVSS) upgrade for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a key milestone in the two-year old program.

With the initial deployment and testing in support of routine operations, the RVSS system has achieved initial operating capability in Nogales, Ariz., the first area of responsibility (AOR). GD has also begun deployments in the Naco and Douglas, Ariz., AORs.

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

The RVSS upgrade program entails the installation of news wide-area electro-optical and infrared multi-sensor camera systems on new and legacy fixed towers and building structures, providing Border Patrol agents with persistent ground surveillance and real-time video analytics to detect, track, identify, classify and respond to activity along United States borders.

In addition to providing camera suites on five new towers and 12 legacy tower sites supporting the Nogales Border Patrol Station, GD a has also deployed a new command-and-control system.

The RVSS upgrade is part of CBP’s multi-layered approach to technology solutions to enhance border security. The agency recently achieved significant milestones for conditional acceptance with another key border security program in Nogales, the Integrated Fixed Tower (IFT) system being supplied and integrated by Elbit Systems [ESLT].

The IFT systems, which will be deployed in certain areas of the U.S. border with Mexico, include EO/IR systems and ground surveillance radar to help the Border Patrol gain increasing situational awareness by detecting, identifying and interdicting suspected illegal activity.

“The Remote Video Surveillance System is a critical element of our overall plan to secure the border, increase our mission effectiveness and protect our agents,” said Mark Borkowski, assistant commissioner of CBP’s Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition. “The General Dynamics team has done a great job honoring its commitments and we are excited to have achieved an initial operating capability in our first area of responsibility. We look forward to continuing this strong relationship, and to completing the rest of our Arizona deployments over the next year.”

In 2013 CBP awarded General Dynamics One Source a potential 10-year, $103 million contract for the RVSS upgrade, including maintenance and support activities. GD One Source is comprised of GD Information Technology and GD Mission Systems.

In addition to its border security work for the Department of Homeland Security through the RVSS upgrade program, GD has also deployed an extensive maritime safety capability for the Coast Guard through the Rescue 21 communications towers deployed along the nation’s coastlines and inland waterways to enhance responses to mariner distress calls and provide communications capabilities.