TEL AVIV – An Israeli firm was chosen as one of four companies to build a prototype for President Donald Trump’s long-touted wall separating the U.S. and Mexico.
Elta North America, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), was shortlisted to construct the “smart border” by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Thursday, beating more than 200 companies globally who entered the tender.
Elta and the other three companies are slated to receive between $300,000-$500,000 in funding for manufacturing the prototype in the fall. The wall is set to span the entire 2,000 mile border between the two countries.
After Israel constructed a wall along its border with Egypt, Trump lauded it for its success in preventing the infiltration of illegal immigrants. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu then returned the praise by endorsing the U.S. president’s idea for a wall – a move that garnered much criticism both within Israel and from Mexico.
The cost of the project is estimated to reach up to $25 billion. The 2018 budget calls for $2.6 billion for “high-priority tactical infrastructure and border security technology.” $1 billion of that will go towards funding the companies who won the tender.
Elta opened its North American offices in Maryland in May. Among its clientele are the U.S. Army and Israel’s Ministry of Defense, to whom it sells radar systems among other security apparatus. Elta also has a cyber security branch catering to both governmental and private organizations, according to Ynet news.
In Israel, the company manufactures radar systems for Arrow missiles, the Iron Dome system, espionage and fighter jets, the report said.
Elta has also been shortlisted by South Korea to supply the country with long-range radars to South Korea. Elta has in the past sold Seoul its “Green Pine” radar used in the Arrow missiles.