31 October 2006

Smiths wins $222 million US Government contract for radiation detectors

Hand-held and backpack detectors to help protect the United States from the threat of a dirty bomb

SMITHS Detection, part of the global technology business Smiths Group, today announces it has been awarded a contract with a potential total value of $222 million, including options, for radiation detection and identification systems.

The contract was awarded by the US Department of Homeland Securitys (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) under the Human Portable Radiation Detection System (HPRDS).

The DHS has been tasked to ensure that the US remains safe from the threat of illicit importation, development or procurement of a nuclear or radiological device.

Smiths Detection will supply its handheld and backpack Human Portable Radiation Detection System (HPRDS) to the DNDO for use by emergency responders, border patrol agents, customs and coast guard officers and other law enforcement officers.

The detectors can identify and determine the location of incoming radiation and will reliably discriminate between normally-occurring radioactive materials and potential threats.

Stephen Phipson, Group Managing Director of Smiths Detection, said: We are pleased to be working with the DNDO on this important programme.

It has always been our intention to add radiation detection to our existing capabilities against chemical, biological and explosive threats. This programme gives us that capability.

Smiths Detection is a leader in chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) security systems. Over the past 30 years, our team has developed, delivered and supported a variety of high performance hand-held and portable security screening systems in use by military and security professionals worldwide.

Our understanding of radiological and nuclear detection science and technology enables us rapidly to innovate solutions to new threat situations.

Smiths Detection developed this technology through its relationship with Symetrica, a start-up company that originated at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southampton.

Smiths Detection has also been awarded a $7.5 million contract for development and demonstration of personal radiation identifiers under the DNDO Intelligent Personal Radiation Locator (IPRL) programme.

Vayl S. Oxford, DNDO Director, said: IPRL systems show real promise for the security and safety of first responders, border patrol agents, customs and coast guard officers and other law enforcement personnel.

Homeland security personnel and first responders will know in real time if they confront a security or safety risk from a device that fits in the palm of their hand.

DNDO is a jointly staffed, national office established to improve Americas capability to detect and report unauthorised attempts to import, possess, store, develop or transport nuclear or radiological material.

ENDS