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  1. #1
    Senior Member FedUpinFarmersBranch's Avatar
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    May 2008

    MI-New border patrol boat features high-tech surveillance

    Monday, September 21, 2009
    New border patrol boat features high-tech surveillance
    Paul Egan

    Detroit -- The U.S. Customs and Border Protection today unveiled what could be its newest weapon in fighting the smuggling of drugs, weapons, goods and illegal immigrants across the Detroit River and other coastal borders.

    The new 43-foot boat, still a prototype that's in the testing stages, can hit speeds of 75 mph (65 knots) and is loaded with high-tech features such as a camera that can see a mile away at night.

    The Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator vessel is being tested in various waters around the U.S. and has been in Detroit for a little over two weeks.

    The boat's high speed could be particularly effective in the Detroit area, said Thomas Norton, director of Customs and Border Protection's National Marine Center.

    "You've got relatively short distances between countries, so you've got to be able to react quickly," he said.

    The boat is powered by four 350-horsepower outboard motors.

    In addition to greater speed -- 20 miles per hour faster than the Border Patrol boats now in use -- the thermal camera is a feature not found on the 39-foot Midnight Express boats now used by the federal agency. The new boat also features mounted machine guns in addition to handguns carried by the four-member crew, though Norton said it's not clear whether the mounted guns will be used on the boats that will eventually replace the Midnight Express.

    The prototype costs about $550,000 and contains another $350,000 worth of electronics, Norton said. ... 413/-1/rss
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  2. #2
    Senior Member nomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    NC and Canada. Got a foot in both worlds
    personally I believe that's the WRONG river... how about testing and puttting this monster on the Rio Grande???

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