QinetiQ has secured a five-year Indefinite Duration, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with the US Military, for the supply of QinetiQ's Vehicle Lightweight Arresting Device (VLAD), the US military designation for the X-Net(r) system.
The base contract has the potential to supply up to 2,000 X-Net(r) units per year, plus training variants. The first firm orders for deployable and training nets, worth in the order of $9.2 million, have already been placed and other X-Net(r) based prototype solutions may transition into the IDIQ in the near future. These new developments should help improve operator safety from the hazards caused by Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs).
QinetiQ's X-Net(r) is a man-portable spike and net system that when deployed in a vehicle's path, will bring a range of vehicles to a complete and safe standstill, typically within 75 metres, irrespective of whether the vehicle is equipped with either standard or run flat tyres.
Vehicle 'arresting' has become a key operational capability for military peacekeeping operations. With the ever present asymmetric threat, QinetiQ's X-Net(r) system is already being used to establish vehicle checkpoints to protect against suspect vehicles and suicide bombers.
Non-lethal equipment such as X-Net(r) provides an intermediate solution between the soldiers 'shouting' and 'shooting', particularly with the increased threat from vehicle borne explosive devices. This contracting arrangement will be a low-burden contracting vehicle and importantly it will enable several future X-Net(r) products to rapidly get into the hands of the user.
Of equal importance is the fact that X-Net(r) stops the vehicle without harming its occupants or damaging the vehicle. The driver and passengers remain completely unharmed and any attempts to drive back and forth are thwarted by the net.
X-Net(r) is a British invention that was originally developed for the UK military and is now sold worldwide to police and security forces. Traditional roadside arresting systems typically use hollow spikes, but have limitations in that they only puncture the vehicles tyres and do not rapidly arrest the vehicle.