Egypt to get mobile border surveillance system


US company Advanced Technology Systems Company (ATSC) has been awarded a contract to deliver a mobile surveillance system to Egypt under a nearly $100 million deal as the North African nation continues to tighten its border defences.

The contract was announced by the US Department of Defence on 1 February and is for $93.8 million (Foreign Military Sales funds to the amount of $74.8 million were obligated at the time of the contract award).

Advanced Technology Systems will deliver the Mobile Surveillance Sensor Security System (MS3) Phase II. The contract provides for fixed-site surveillance towers, an agile truck based Mobile Border Surveillance Vehicle, a Mobile Border Surveillance System Model 1300 (MBSS-1300), a Mobile Field Workshop to perform on-site maintenance, and contractor logistics support.

The MBSS-1300 is an off-road persistent surveillance system that employs a 13 metre mast with various sensors including an HDSD-550 electro-optical/infrared sensor can detect targets at 25 km. A radar with a range of 48 km can detect people, vehicles and low-flying aircraft. The system is deployed on a trailer.

The Department of Defence said work will be performed in McLean, Virginia; Gilbert, Arizona; and Egypt, and is expected to be completed by 1 February 2027.

The latest contract is similar to one awarded to Advanced Technology Systems in October 2017, worth $64 million. At the time this was requested, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said it would bolster Egypt’s border surveillance capabilities along its border with Libya and elsewhere. “This procurement is intended for Egyptian Border Guard Forces, which currently lack any remote detection capability along unpatrolled areas of Egypt’s borders. This system would provide an early warning capability to allow for faster response times to mitigate threats to the border guards and the civilian population,” the DSCA said.

ATSC in May 2020 said it had delivered over 45 Mobile Border Surveillance Systems (MBSS-80) to Egypt, ahead of schedule. Company literature states the MBSS-80 is a relocatable, turnkey, multi-faceted border surveillance solution that is mounted on a military grade trailer, with power generators, batteries and solar power options that allow for continuous and uninterrupted surveillance. The system includes a ground surveillance radar, electro-optical/infrared sensor and laser rangefinder and GPS.

ATSC may in the future supply Egypt with maritime surveillance systems. In October 2020, the government of Egypt requested the purchase of a Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) system from the United States at a cost of $417 million. ATSC was listed as the prime contractor in the proposed sale.