EPE tests maritime explosive detection technology on HMAS Coonawarra

The Maritime PRIED prototype’s objective is to provide increased awareness and protection through a “stand-off” detection capability. Source: epequip.com

Queensland-based company EPE and the Defence Innovation Hub have tested the performance and functionality of a Maritime Portable Raman Improvised Explosive Detector (PRIED) prototype in Darwin.

Tested on the HMAS Coonawarra this week, the technology was developed through a partnership between EPE and the Defence Innovation Hub. The Maritime PRIED prototype’s objective is to provide increased awareness and protection through a “stand-off” detection capability. This detection is for explosives, chemical warfare agents, narcotics and gases.

EPE signed a $1 million contract with the Defence Innovation Hub in February 2018 to further develop the baseline PRIED system to enable its deployment in the maritime environment.

At the time of signing the contract, director of EPE Warwick Penrose said the company was proud to be working closely with Defence to develop the protection capability the Royal Australian Navy.

“This innovation has the potential to deliver a new paradigm in boarding operations enabling stand-off detection prior to boarding,” Warwick said.

“The PRIED project recognises EPE’s long term commitment and investment in building and developing sovereign force protection capabilities that help take Australian servicemen out of the danger zone.”

The established in 2016, the Defence Innovation Hub partners with companies and organisations to provide opportunities for funding to further develop and prove technology that supports Australia’s defence capability needs.

Via the Hub, The federal government plans to invest approximately $640 million over the decade to 2025-26 in maturing and further developing technologies that have moved from the early science stages into the engineering and development stages of the innovation process.