A border fence should be tailor made to the situation of the border it defends. Magal-S3, the Israeli leading manufacturer of border fences and sensors says that this has been proved again and again.
Magal-S3 claims that he US SBInet (Secure Border Initiative) project failure has only confirmed that “one-size-fits-all” hardly fits any security application and definitely is not applicable for securing borders.
To prove it they point out that for example – borders in Asia and Middle East are mainly affected by fundamental Homeland Security threats such as terror activity, smuggling of weapons, hazardous materials, drugs and illegal immigration. This is the classic region for a physical barrier such as taut wire or high security dual technology fences.
Surveillance by short and long range cameras can be used mainly for verification, but cannot be considered as the primary detection layer. Observation balloons can cover and verify intrusions along long perimeters even in hilly terrain. They also deter intruders who feel exposed to the “big brother”.
Detection in open and unpopulated areas can be complemented by radars, with the main benefit of delivering early warning before intrusion as well as post intrusion tracking. In Eastern Europe the borders are perceived as posing limited national defense threats but with severe illegal immigration and drug smuggling challenges.
Strict limitations to protect the environment, wildlife and aesthetics dictate that physical barriers are the least preferred solution and therefore virtual fences / volumetric sensors are the best fit:
- Buried cable covers long border lines with a virtual and concealed detection zone. It is therefore nearly impossible to beat the detection.
- Microwave sensors also create virtual fences but unlike the buried cable they require a clear area with no vegetation between the transmitter and the receiver. They are ideal to fill gaps or serve as virtual gates.
- Radars are ideal for open and flat environment with no or very little traffic; they are useless in forests and where the vicinity of the protected line is subject to daily traffic.
- CCTV and thermal imaging cameras may augment the main detection layer and facilitate threat analysis, yet they are limited by the need for line of sight and their performance is severely degraded in fog, strong wind and heavy rain or snow.
Magal-S3 has developed a family of environmental friendly solutions and products, including buried cable and microwaves, for open borders such as in Europe, where security is designed to prevent illegal immigration and smuggling while aesthetics, undisturbed wildlife and a green approach often drive the solution.
With high-risk borders involving terrorists or enemy threats, illegal immigration and smuggling activity, the ideal solution is typically a smart physical barrier that can deter, detect and delay until first responders can intercept the intruder. Taut wire with its inherent low False Alarm Rate / Nuisance Alarm Rate and inherent robustness provides such a solution and can be complemented by cameras and radar.
For very long uninhabited borders with flat and open landscapes such as deserts, the best solution is a combination of mobile forces and long range surveillance sensors.