Washington: It looks like a pocket-sized cigar box, but it packs a mighty punch in the fight against terrorism. And now this nifty explosive detection kit, developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation, is all set to play its part in the US too.
Widely used in India by bomb detection squads and the armed forces since 2002, the handy kit would be manufactured and sold in the US and other parts of the world by Summerville, South Carolina-based Crowe and Company LLC under a technology transfer agreement,
“We are planning to introduce the EDK to the US Army and US homeland security forces and in other international markets after getting necessary approvals from the US regulatory institutions,” said Fay Crowe, CEO and president of the company.
A few drops of four reagents contained in four vials can detect explosives based on TNT, RDX, dynamite, and black powder within minutes with no more than 3 to 5 milligrams of the suspected sample. It also does not require field calibration, power or peripheral devices.
Besides the wallet sized disposable kit for covert and military operations, it’s also available in smaller field cases for law enforcement and bomb squads. And personnel can be trained in its use in just a couple of hours.
A team of Indian scientists led by DRDO director general, Avinash Chander, the chief architect of the Agni series of ballistic missiles, was at hand for the global launch of the EDK at a function at the US Chamber of Commerce on Friday.
Chander was upbeat over the first DRDO developed products to be globalised with the transfer of Indian technology to the US which not long ago looked at the DRDO “as a very reluctant supplier”.
The DRDO is now talking to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI), which was instrumental in the launch of EDK in the US, for the roll out of 50 more DRDO-developed technologies for the international market under the DRDO-FICCI Accelerated Technology Assessment Commercialisation programme.
The significance of the launch of the India-developed EDK in the US was not lost on the audience, which was made up of US defence chiefs, including former US defence secretary William Cohen, who hoped that such technology transfer would soon become a two-way street.
The launch of EDK in the US was significant in more ways than one, said the Indian ambassador Nirupama Rao, who described the transfer of technology as “an important milestone in the process of evolution of India-US strategic partnership.”