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Army to acquire new bomb detectors
The Thai army has recently approved the acquisition of a new batch of bomb detectors for use by its troops fighting against Islamic insurgents in the rrestive deep South.
The new explosives detectors, known in their trade name as Fido XT, which are less than three pounds and portable, are capable of detecting common military-grade compounds used in homemade explosives and IEDs, including PETN.
Fido explosives detectors utilize proprietary amplifying fluorescence polymers (AFP) to detect trace levels of explosive materials in parts per quadrillion (ppq). This level of detection is comparable to that of highly trained explosives detection canines, the gold standard in explosives detection technology. Unlike alternative technologies, the exquisite sensitivity of the Fido XT supports detection of both explosive vapor and particulates without the need to modify the system in any way. This unique design enables previously unheard of functionality for explosives detection equipment.
According to the fact sheet of Fido XT, the device can be configured in multiple formats to accommodate the needs of most explosives detection applications. The system includes a control unit and separate sensor head where actual explosives detection takes place. These two components can be connected directly for one-handed explosives detection operations or via tether for added maneuverability. In addition, the sensor head can be mounted for benchtop applications.
Due to its size and trace vapor detection capability, the Fido XT can be easily integrated as a payload onto robotic vehicles for remote explosives detection applications. Dependent upon the robot, this can be accomplished either by inserting the entire system onto the robotic platform or by attaching the sensor head to a robotic arm.
Informed sources said that four Fido XT units have been initially acquired at a total cost of about 15 million baht from the manufacturer’s local agent, Advance Avionics and Aviation Company, a supplier of air traffic system and aviation equipments for the past ten years.
In addition, the army plans to acquire 40 sets of Spectrex bomb detectors at about 40 million baht from another Thai firm.
The sources said that procurement of the two systems would be more carefully considered to avoid a repeat of previous acquisition of the controversial GT200 hand-held detectors which were proven to be completely useless. The Department of Special Investigation which investigated GT200 and Alpha6 bomb detectors and found the devices to be useless has suggested all the government agencies which bought the devices to lodge complaints to it so legal actions can be taken against the manufacturer and distributor.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a bomb expert in the deep South said he thought Spectrex bomb detector was more suitable for use in premises suspected to be used to make bombs or for use after a bomb explosion rather than being used to detect bombs for preventive purpose.
Another police bomb expert said Spectrex was just a device good for primary test just like a test kit for urine tests. He added that the best method to look for bombs is to use bomb demolition squads equipped with bomb suits or robots.
Caption : Spectrex and Fido
Thanks : Photos from web