Firms vie to build Iraq fence

15 November 2007
Bids have been submitted by 14 groups for the estimated SR 4,000 million ($1,070 million) contract to build a fence along the kingdom’s border with Iraq.

The 900-kilometre-long security fence will comprise two lines of razor wire, with a second fence several kilometres behind it. There will be thermal imaging equipment and ground-surveillance radar between the two fences, which will be linked by a state-of-the-art fibre-optic communications system to rapid-response teams capable of intercepting intruders.

The 25-month project, which is divided into three phases, also includes the construction of housing complexes for soldiers, border guards and their families, complete with schools, mosques, sports facilities and malls.

The current security system consists of three anti-vehicle barriers made of sand, manned outposts and a swept-dirt path, which is patrolled.

Riyadh is concerned about the potential for insurgents from Iraq to enter the country. The border will also be defended by a 10-kilometre-wide exclusion zone, and surveillance equipment will be used (MEED 21:9:07).

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