Defence IQ recently investigated the current gamut of new gadgets on offer to military and police forces confronted with the task of defeating the growing tide of explosive ordnance being used among insurgencies, terrorists, and even criminal organisations.
At a London-based industry event, we met up with Major Chris Hunter QGM, a former British Army Bomb Disposal Operator in Iraq, now a senior IED analyst, and the inspiration and advisor on the recent Hollywood film ‘The Hurt Locker’.
On the subject of counter-IED technology, Hunter points first to the nature of the bomb itself and the ease with which it grows in sophistication.
“If you look at the IRA, for example, who were our primary threat for thirty years, the level of sophistication they achieved in that time – and they were the best bombmakers in the world – was superseded in just 12 months when we went into Iraq in 2003-2004,” he says.
“That’s just continued at a rapid and alarming rate. It was superseded in Afghanistan in just 18 months.”
As the IED presents a variety of problems, Hunter confirms that there is now a need for technology to respond in kind, offering technologies that are not specific to one solution, but to many.
“As every IED specialists will say, there is no silver bullet. But if you’re talking about the Defeat the Device component, where we’re looking at technologies to detect and neutralise, we have to really focus on multi-sensor technologies.