US Marine Base Hard Specs Hikvision

By IPVM Team, Published Feb 01, 2018, 10:13am EST

Hikvision is making inroads in the US military. After being removed from a US Army Base and being featured in a US Congressional hearing, Hikvision is progressing again.

This time, a US Marine Base has hard specified Hikvision as the only product that meets the Marines needs. 

But what technology is so special or needed that only Hikvision can provide it? And how are the Marines justifying this? And what distributor's listings are involved?

Inside this note, we examine the documentation and answer these questions.

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Comments (35)

That’s a 10million dollar system. When can I get access to start?

I know the headline would be less intriguing, but why not US Marine Base Specs Hikvision and Ubiquiti?

The Ubiquiti spec'd product is nice but not unique. 

But what technology is so special or needed that only Hikvision can provide it?

The same could be said for the Ubiquiti part...

Because this is an American military base; Ubiquiti is a private American company and Hikvision is owned by the Chinese government.

The blockqoute was Your quote John. 

If its bad to spec the cctv brand why is it ok to spec the network brand?

Take away the political context and its strange to hard spec the network brand, but it seems the Hik part caught all the attention/fury.

Ubuigiti is good but not that unique.

Sole sourcing any COTS product is questionable. This is, as marketed by the government, a Hikvision system, ergo the focus.

I disagree John. Where does it say Hikvision system?
I see reference to Hikvision on page 3,4 and 7. All instances referring to the particular item.

Also, with the cable spec I see 'or equal'.

So again, you focus on Hikvision because it's what you like to see and what you promote to get views. Simular to the story the 'scandal based reporting thread'.

You pick out Hikvision to bring yet another headline.

Be fair John, hard spec'd network equipment is just as strange as hard spec'd cctv parts. Name them both instead of singling out the easy target. If real journalism is your goal, give the real report.

I'm curious to the disagree and unhelpfel votes. Maybe you can reply and explain, if needed undisclosed. You might not like that I am 'pro Hik' but the above seems rational to me.

I disagree John. Where does it say Hikvision system?

It is in the synopsis of the bid release, screencap:

I did not see the synopsis linked in your article, thanks for sharing it.

In fairness, it says Hikvision system so it can justify the title.

I do remain critial (and yes you may blame my 'pro-hik mindset') about not mentioning the networking part at all. It was there for grabs and should have been part in of the article in my opinion.
The full story.

The memorandum is laughable by the way. Just at first glance it reads 'sercurity' and 'Hikivision'(twice).

If its bad to spec the cctv brand why is it ok to spec the network brand?

Because of Marine loyalty, i.e. Sempre WiFi

The same could be said for the Ubiquiti part...

The V in IPVM is for Video.  

In terms of products, that means video cameras and video recorders get most of the focus.

Disagree. A simple search shows plenty of content articles on Ubiquiti and on networking in general (learned that lesson from you John H, as you will remember).

As examples:
Ubiquiti AirFiber Gigabit Wireless

Or on Networking:
Cisco Falling - Favorite Network Switches 2017

When it's relevant networking get's it fair share of attention. Not as many hits as on cameras, thats true.

3 Hik products in the quote, 2 Ubiquiti. No reaseon to exclude the networking part of the story, but hey Hik sounds better on the headline, like a moth to a flame.

Jonathan, thank you for continuing to defend your partner Hikvision.

Again, a US Marine base specing a US product (UBNT) is not news nor debatable. A US Marine base specing a Chinese government manufactured surveillance system is.

I had to vote funny on that. Goverment manufactured system, I saw chinese men in suits assembling the systemen with flag bandanas.

In the other comment I confirm the title choice seeing the link you supplied.
I'll leave it at that. I think we both have valid points but the anonymous unhelpfulls or disagrees have their desired effect, I'll stop commenthing in this thread, congrats to the haters.

PS your short term memory is failing you John

Sole sourcing any COTS product is questionable. This is, as marketed by the government, a Hikvision system, ergo the focus.

So its questionable but not news nor debatable. Ehrrrr


Ubiquiti is not as big of news for video surveillance professionals as Hikvision. Ubiquiti is like #40 in video surveillance sales, Hikvision is #1.

Jonathan, I appreciate your persistence in this matter. You can certainly debate whether Ubiquiti should be sole sourced but its not as newsworthy as Hikvision on a US Marines base. 

I can't see H in IPVM but most of the focus goes to Hikvision

I can't see H in IPVM...


To be fair - IPVM is about "video surveillance" (ie; cameras.)
Not network transport equipment (ie; Ubiquiti).

So for the site to make the headline all about the cameras is probably to be expected! :)



EDIT: Oh look - someone else made that point below, ah well!

This speaks more about the quality (or lack of) people working for our govt.  The person that likely wrote this spec is probably unaware of any of this.  I once bid a project in Alaska back in my Mechanical days that included a blanket spec for the entire state.  Took me a year to convince them of their stupidity and save them over 1 Million in upfront cost, but I did win the project.  Just because a spec is written a certain way, it shouldn't stop someone from raising concern.  Goal should be developing a relationship that makes you a trusted partner, not a vendor.  When you meet with people that either wrote the spec, or making the choice for a new system, they often admit they are lost and have no clue.  Earn their respect and help them.

Fair to also say Ubiquiti also haven't had the same sort of issues with backdoors and security failures that Hikvision have, so ......

wow unbelievable a $100 crap cam in a spec like that. What is going on in the west? 

As a reseller of HIK and Ubiquiti products, and a former Marine stationed at Camp Lejuene, I find the indignation in this discussion to be somewhat specious.  

First, this is a tiny system, one I'm not sure I would even bid on; one sub $500 DVR with four $100 cameras and two $100 radios. 

Second, this 4 camera system is obviously not some mission critical deployment.  It is important to remember that a large military base is very much like a small town.  There are neighborhoods with base houses, police departments, credit unions, fitness centers, barber shops, movie theaters, and so on.  This system might likely be going in a day care center lobby or watching the dumbbell racks of a base gym, hoping to identify who's not replacing the weights properly. 

#4, the sole source justification describes it as for a warehouse.

What is in the warehouse is not clear. Also, how these cameras are being networked is not explained.

Thanks for that clarification, from your post it looks to be the "surrounding areas of the warehouse at the LANDFILL". 


so yeah, it's watching the base dump....


btw, I installed Hikvision cams and UBNT's radios at another landfill near me.  They work quite well.

Clearly the person writing the specs and making the purchases at that installation has no clue what they are doing.

All the known issue with Hikvision, let alone the crappy other systems sold by trunk slammers to clueless home owners and independent / small mom and pop businesses.

The Marine Corps has numerous approval processes in place for the procurement of data processing equipment.  In this case, it seems that the process was circumvented.  The most likely case: the folks involved in the procurement of the system don’t fully understand how modern “security camera systems” work.  As they are requesting a monitor to connect to the recorder, it’s easy to see how one might think of this system as a basic piece of facilities equipment no different than and old CCTV system.  If this is truly a standalone system, the security risks are greatly diminished…for the near term at least.  Until someone decides that they’d like to connect their laptop to this system to review video, etc. 

Marines and the civilians who work with them are known as a group who get things done.  Unfortunately, sometimes getting things done, without going through the appropriate channels leaves the organization vulnerable.  In the end, I think the contracting officer and the landfill supervisor just need a little more training on modern video surveillance systems.  I bet if these two folks had access to IPVM and could read a little about Hikvision and alternatives, they and our country would be better off.  I took the liberty of sending you their email addresses if you’d like to provide them with a complimentary subscription.

Hopefully, highlighting this situation will be a learning opportunity for folks in the procurement community, and help them better understand their role in keeping our nation’s data secure. 

Well done #5. Identify the problem, explain why it's problematic, then suggest a fix. That's how it's done.

There's a whole lot of, "mine's bigger than yours" in these comments. Sheesh...

When I see a hard specified part ... it reads a lazy, uninformed or overworked specifier to me. That goes for Avigilon as much as it goes for HIK. A full and proper spec would state what is required. If the requirement is for American Made then say it.

In fairness, camera specs are extremely hard to compare "apples to apples". A less lazy and more fair way might be to do an IPVM type shoot-out for the exact application. 

I would suspect for a relatively low end specification, this client just wants to get it off their desk. If there happen to be 3 HIK installers in the area, a quick "fair" competition can be held. 

They may be much more interested in warranty, spare parts, service and training than resolution, dynamic range and so on. I know that when I was in Gov't I was guilty of this (and I hated myself for it haha)



The bottom of Page 8 of the Solicitation shows the header:  CLAUSES INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Page 9 begins a list of same, including:

252.204-7012   Safeguarding Covered Defense Information and Cyber Incident Reporting

This clause - that is referenced as being incorporated in the Solicitation - is described on this website.

Question:  Does this Solicitation comply with their own referenced clause? 

Update: I spoke with Sgt Lind, the contact on the solicitation and he says the solicitation is going forward with Hikvision. Specifically, he said the Buy America Act does not apply and that they did not have any objections about Hikvision's Chinese government ownership nor cybersecurity concerns.

Sgt. Lind needs some wall to wall counseling.

Yeah because spec-ing in a cheap CCTV is what you do for a Military base.. like you can even twist the turret camera so it can look the other way.... 

Not like they have guns, rockets or anything dangerous going on worth protecting...


Specifaction was drawn up like this...Be fine... My friends house has it covering his garage... yeah lets spec it for our base... :D

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