US firm to buy DRDO’s explosive detection kit

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

NEW DELHI - A US firm has shown “keen interest” in a patented explosive detection kit developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and a pact will be signed soon, an official statement said Tuesday.

Costing about Rs.5,000 a piece, the kit will be commercially produced by the Noida-based Vantage Integrated Security Solutions under a transfer of technology pact with the DRDO, the statement said.

“An agreement on transfer of technology is likely to be signed soon between the two sides.”

The explosive kit, developed by the DRDO’s High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) in Pune, comes packed in a box the size of a vanity case and contains four reagents capable of detecting explosives, even in trace quantities.

It can be used to identify a range of explosives such as black powder, dynamite, inorganic nitrates, TNT and RDX based plastic explosives.

It is being widely used by the bomb detection squads of the Indian Army, paramilitary and police in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

The Americans have their own EDK kits but the foreign technology has certain drawbacks, for example they lack a confirmatory test, said Reny Roy, a scientist at the HEMRL.

Following the success, scientists at HEMRL have now developed an aerosol based explosive detection kit that costs around the same price but has the advantage of being more portable, convenient and trendy.

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