Military EOD personnel disposing of suspected bombs in the UK are being equipped with next-generation digital protection.
News Release, Whitehall, 25 July 2022: Military specialists called on to dispose of suspected bombs in the UK are being equipped with next-generation digital protection against remotely-triggered devices.
The life-saving technology will search the airwaves for remote control signals that may be attempting to detonate an explosive device, allowing skilled Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel to block them using this cutting-edge digital technique.
A £41 million contract placed with Leonardo has created 10 jobs with 100 roles supported around the country, including 35 at Leonardo in Basildon and Southampton. Around 50% of the contract value will be delivered by small and medium-sized enterprises across the UK.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, said: “Our personnel work in hostile environments on dangerous tasks to keep our nation and its people safe. This multi-million-pound contract with Team Endure not only delivers crucial innovative protection for our Armed Forces but is in large part being delivered by UK SMEs.”
The British Army’s 11 EOD team, Search Regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps and the Royal Naval Fleet Diving Squadron with be provided with vehicle-mounted and portable systems.
DE&S CEO, Sir Simon Bollom said: “This British Army regiment carries out high risk duties often in direct protection of the public and it is essential that we provide them with the tools needed to carry out their job safely and effectively. Crucially the system is open architecture so it can be updated across its lifetime to ensure advancements is hostile technology can be countered.”
First deliveries of the new equipment are due to take place from Autumn 2024, with a view to deploying the technology across the whole of Defence’s specialist units responsible for explosive device and munitions disposal in 2025.
Major General Robin Anderton-Brown, UKStratCom Director Capability, said: “This capability shows the MOD exploiting the best available technology from our innovative SMEs here in the UK. In a system designed for the information age, the procurement approach and open architecture will allow us to upgrade, at pace, to respond to new threats and technology. This cutting edge, modular capability will ensure our personnel are best able to deal with the threats they face, now and into the future.”