QinetiQ subsidiary Foster-Miller Inc
, has been awarded a $1 million contract to further develop its advanced Boat Trap system by the United States Department
of Defense Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, working closely with the US Coast Guard.
Designed to bolster US harbor security and protect coastal military bases abroad, Boat Trap is a non lethal, ballistic net that is deployed from a helicopter into the path of a threatening speedboat traveling at high speed. It is designed to entangle the propeller, causing the craft to immediately stop.
Port security and ship protection has become a central issue in the war on terror and recent assessments of US port security has highlighted the risk from terrorists' using speed boats as a mode of attack. The attack on USS COLE, in Yemen in October 2000 demonstrated the destructive potential of a surface attack and the vulnerability of ships in port.
The Boat Trap system was extensively tested in 2005, stopping 100 percent of its targets. The tests were conducted at the US Coast Guard Special Mission Training Center (SMTC) at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, South Padre Island, Texas, and at CAPEX demonstrations in Honolulu, Hawaii. Moscow-Mills Manufacturing of Moscow, Vermont, is also now working with Foster Miller in the continued development, testing and manufacturing of the Boat Trap system.