Emerging Technologies

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ADM brings you a digest of emerging technologies developed to aid the fight against terrorism.
Stop Shot demonstrates window protection - Glass windows just 35m from a 5-tonne blast at Woomera earlier this year were cracked, but did not break, thanks to technology developed by Sydney-based Stop Shot Pty Ltd.

The brainchild of Sydney based inventor Peter Stephinson, Stop Shot is a patented system that can upgraded ordinary glass to stop bullets and protect against bomb blasts. Since 2000, the company has experienced rapid growth with sales of the product in security markets in the UK, Middle East, USA, Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

Stop Shot customers include most of the major banks in Australia, the NSW Police, the Australian Defence Force, various high profile federal government departments and Qantas Airways.

In June this year Stop Shot was tested at Woomera range in South Australia. Defence scientists detonated a 5 tonne bomb in the centre of a mock town, a controlled explosion equivalent to five times that of the Bali blast. Observers from 3 kilometres away watched as a huge mushroom cloud rose over the desert weapons range after the explosives were detonated. After the dust settled, the Stop Shot windows anchored closest to the explosion about 35 m from the blast were found to be cracked but intact.

Peter Stephinson commented on the impact of a bomb blast on key civic buildings: "Our research demonstrates we can stop the devastating impact on windows of a car bomb at five metres. This means that for example at the Opera House, Sydney Airport or Central Railway you can park a car outside and let a bomb off with minimal impact to the windows, if they have been protected with the Stop Shot system. They may shatter but will not collapse or allow shrapnel through." Stop Shot has been endorsed by the Security Construction Equipment Committee (SCEC) and is now in the catalogue of products approved by ASIO for use in government buildings.

When the widely publicised drive-by shooting at Lakemba Police Station in 1998 occurred, Stop Shot windows were installed throughout within two days of gaining access to the building.

Stephinson added: "Stop Shot represents a great opportunity for earning millions of Australian export dollars over the next few years from uniquely developed and patented Australian technology. This is particularly the case since the recent rise in terrorism and the motivation world wide to improve security. As Stop Shot is the world's best in its class its international launch has opened many opportunities for us."

The Stop Shot distinction is that it provides combined ballistic and blast protection in a way not offered by competitive products. Traditional ballistic glass is heavy and unwieldy and not suitable in a blast situation. Blast resistant security film does not afford the level of protection of the Stop Shot System and cannot stop bullets or the flying shrapnel that accompanies a blast.

Stop Shot can do both and is ideal in applications where a combined solution is desired. It can be tailored to afford the desired protection against the effects of explosive devices, bullets, and forced entry according to the perceived level of threat - even within different sections of the same building. The comprehensive solution afforded by the Stop Shot System is not available from any other product on the market today.

The company says the advantages of its system over traditional products are that:

* It is easier (therefore more cost effective) to install in a retrofit situation

* By utilising existing glass structures there is very little disruption to a work place and the building is not exposed to the elements (and security threats) during the installation process

* It is up to 50% lighter. Buildings, window frames and doors do not have to be specially strengthened

* It can incorporate Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) protection

* It can provide privacy and effective solar control properties

* It is less obtrusive than conventional bullet resistant glass, so makes it harder for criminals and terrorists to asses the level of security, and also useful where heritage buildings must be protected

Wherever possible the installation uses 'off the shelf' products so there is very little lead-time for installations. The company had a system installed at Lakemba Police station 48 hours after it was attacked in November 1998. It could have taken up to six weeks with conventional Bullet Resistant glass.

Stop Shot is compliant with a range of Australian and US standards including Australian Standard A/NZS2343 for bullet resistant glazing and GSA (USA Government Services Association) Blast Standards Level 4 safety status for a blast of 1000 lb of TNT at 154 feet.

Kuwait CG commissions Austal PBs - Austal has designed, constructed and delivered three 22 metre patrol boats to the Kuwait Coast Guard (KCG). In addition to their three crewmembers "Kassir", "Dastoor" and "Mahroos" can each carry 41 people and will be used primarily for the transport of KCG crew and personnel to outlying islands at speeds of approximately 25 knots.

The vessels were launched three months ahead of schedule and met all performance criteria on sea trials in Australian waters prior to being shipped to the Gulf region. They arrived on schedule in March this year and their entry into service was quickly expedited after they successfully completed acceptance sea trials off the Kuwait coast.

The contract was awarded in January last year after a highly competitive international tender process. Austal's proposal was based on an aluminium monohull similar to those provided to the police force in the Australian state of New South Wales in 2000. The success of those two 22 metre police boats, and seven 16 metre vessels delivered as part of the same contract, was vital in securing the KCG contract.

Alvis OMC to supply Carabinieri - South Africa's leading military vehicle manufacturer, Alvis OMC, in partnership with Italy's Iveco Defence Vehicles Division (DVD), has been selected to supply specialised RG-12 public order vehicles to Italy's Carabinieri and Police following extensive Italian trials.

The Italian bid announcement follows news of Alvis OMC's successful bid to supply up to 200 RG-32M specialist patrol vehicles to the Swedish Defence Force.

The RG-12 is a 10-tonne 8 - 12 seat vehicle protected against mines, grenades and fire bombs and 5.56mm small arms ammunition. It is powered by a Iveco engine with an Allison automatic transmission. Over 700 are now in service in South Africa and other nations.
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