'Virtual fence' proposal integrates fixed towers - Tucson News Now

'Virtual fence' proposal integrates fixed towers

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Improvements are projected for the virtual fence program along Arizona's border with Mexico.

Homeland Security awarded a $145 million contract to a U.S. subsidiary of Israel's Elbit Systems for a series of security towers to track and identify suspicious border activity.   

The government spent $1 billion on a "virtual fence" project south of Tucson a few years ago, but it was canceled in 2011 after struggling to meet performance goals.

The new system is supposed to work out of the box, without development.

The integrated fixed towers are scheduled start going up on the border later this year.

According to the original proposal, work will begin in Nogales with additional towers following in Ajo, Sonoita, Douglas, Casa Grande, and Wellton.

The immigration reform package that is stalled in Congress could boost project funding to $1 billion.

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