US to manufacture, market DRDO’s Explosive Detection Kit

PTI Washington | Updated on August 03, 2013

In a first of its kind of reverse technology sharing between India and the US, an innovative Explosive Detection Kit developed by Indian scientists would be manufactured in America and sold globally for quick detection and identification of combinations of explosives.

The India-developed US-manufactured Explosive Detection Kit (EDK) was launched at the US Chamber of Commerce building in Washington — a block away from the White House yesterday.

This was probably for the first time that technology developed by Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) was being manufactured and marketed in the US, officials and industry partners said.

“We are hoping that (technology transfer) would be a two way street,” former US Defence Secretary William S Cohen said, adding that this is a very significant step. He described it as a very “excellent example” of reverse technology transfer.

Being commercialised as part of a programme called DRDO-FICCI Accelerated Technology Assessment and Commercialisation (ATAC), the two sides have entered into a Licensing Agreement with a US based-firm Crowe and Company of South Carolina for manufacturing the Kit.

Developed by a constituent DRDO laboratory, High Energy Material Research Laboratory in Pune, the EDK is developed for quick detection and identification of explosives based on any combination of nitro-esters, nitramines, trinitrotoluene, dynamite or black powder.

The test results can be obtained in two-three minutes in field conditions as well as in laboratory conditions at ambient temperature. One of the salient features of the Kit is its ability to detect combinations of explosives in IEDs.

Plastic explosives based on RDX fail to be detected by most electronic detectors, but EDK being a chemical-based kit can efficiently detect plastic explosives.

The Kit is portable, cost effective and can be used in both pre-blast and post-blast scenarios even in contaminated conditions. It is being used by bomb detection and disposal squads of the Army, paramilitary forces and police in India.

“It marks an important milestone in the process of evolution of the India-US Strategic Partnership,” Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao said, adding that this reflects the next frontier in co-operation, which would involve technology, innovation in the field of defence.

The event reflects the fact that the Indian defence research institutions have emerged world class, nation building technologies and solution providers for many global problems, she added.

Published on August 03, 2013

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