As the ominous mobile surveillance system known as SkyWatch continues to invade the city’s neighborhoods, we decided to take a closer look at both the privacy invading people watcher and the company responsible for it. ICx Technologies (Nasdaq GS:ICXT) is a weapons manufacturer enabler and SkyWatch is just one item in its stable of military products* rebranded for law enforcement purposes. Most police departments—the NYPD included—utlizie the ‘Sentinel‘ version. According to the brochure, it’s perfect for any occasion, “from a prisoner working party to disaster response,” but also recommended for “crowd control, long range surveillance, and “VIP/Dignitary protection.” The unit weighs 6600 lbs., comes with a 5.5 KW gas generator that can for about 24 hours, sports an impressive set up time of “less than 10 minutes,” and costs about $100K a pop.

Centurion, SkyWatch, Cerberus
For those law enforcement and military types that require something a little more rugged, here’s the SkyWatch ‘Frontier‘ model. It comes in a standard beige color but offers more add-ons and with it’s higher capacity generator, it’s better suited for longer deployments. Unlike its wussy Sentinel counterpart, this one comes with a ballistics option that not only includes run flat tires, but a thicker outer skin that can repel small arms and most importantly: gun ports! And you can never have enough guns. That’s why ICx also designed this semi-automated heavy gun tower they dub the Centurion (pictured above left). The “unique mobile weapons station” can be fired from a remote locations and has the options to be fitted with a whole slew of weapons: M2HB .50 cal machine gun, MK-19 40 mm grenade launcher, Javelin missile, XM307 (new .50 cal machine gun), or a M240 7.62 mm machine gun. It was also created to work in conjunction with SkyWatch.
*The Centurion ( a remote operated machine gun platform) Ceberus (mobile radar/sensor tower), and SkyWatch are all compatible and designed to work as an integrated system.
The company is headed by this scary guy—he makes like $450K a year and reported some record profits last quarter. However, the company is deep in the red, but with ICx already opening up new markets in the Middle East, not to mention SkyWatch being billed as an essential tool for both the “front lines or hometown events”—effectively putting a country’s citizenry and foreign enemies on the same footing—they should be moving towards the black in no time. It also helps that the CEO—like the Republicans at their convention—isn’t afraid to drum up support by invoking the attacks on the World Trade Center. “We believe that we’re doing something good for the country and we hope that we’re doing our share to make sure that 9/11 doesn’t happen again.”