Department of Defense enlists advanced chemical detectors to protect troops
To provide the chemical detectors, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) recently awarded the contract option to the military unit of Smiths Detection, based in Edgewood, Md.
Smiths Detection will supply the DoD with its M4 JCAD device, which was developed to detect both chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals.
According to the company, the JCAD program is potentially the biggest of its kind in the world.
“JCAD is expected to become one of the most significant and largest chemical detection programs in the world,” said Stephen Phipson, group managing director, Smiths Detection. “It is a truly unique and sophisticated means of providing next-generation technology to protect front line forces from a range of chemical threats.”
Boasting a lightweight design, the M4 detectors are said to be more compact than chemical-point detection systems currently in service, while offering better detection capabilities and nonradioactive technology.
The detectors are based on the company’s Lightweight Chemical Detector (LCD), which offers a choice of models that can be held in one’s hand; clipped to user’s clothing, belt or harness; or deployed on fixed or mobile platforms, including vehicles, ships or aircraft. The detectors sense chemical warfare agents or toxic chemicals, alarm user to their presence and indicate concentration levels of the chemical threat.
The recent contract award is part of a Low Rate Initial Production contract won by Smiths Detection under Increment 1 of the JCAD program. In 2007, Increment 2 of the program involved the DoD’s evaluation of the chemical detectors. Long-term potential for the JCAD Increment 2 program is for production of up to 120,000 units for the detector selected. A full rate production decision by the DoD is anticipated within months, with potential orders for up to 54,000 additional M4 JCAD units.
“Smiths Detection is proud to have been selected to supply the U.S. military with the M4 JCAD, bringing a significant increase in capability to the troops,” commented Mal Maginnis, president, Smiths Detection, global military and emergency responders division. “Not only is the JCAD used as a point detector to monitor ambient air for a chemical threat, it can also be used as a survey instrument to check for contamination. This is a capability that previously required two instruments and is now packaged in one—the M4 JCAD.”
For more information about the company’s complete line of chemical detectors, visit http://www.smithsdetection.com/.