Foster-Miller nets Boat Trap contract

Qinetiq subsidiary Foster-Miller has been awarded a $1m contract to further develop its advanced Boat Trap system by the United States Department of Defense.


Qinetiq subsidiary Foster-Miller has been awarded a $1m contract to further develop its advanced Boat Trap system by the United States Department of Defense’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate. The companies will work closely with the US Coast Guard.



Designed to bolster US harbour 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 travelling at high speed. It is designed to entangle the propeller, causing the craft to immediately stop.



According to Qinetiq, port security and ship protection have become a central issue in the war on terror, and recent assessments of US port security have highlighted the risk from terrorists using speedboats 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.



’Our non-lethal Boat Trap system is an effective solution against suspect surface vessels,’ said Dr William Ribich, Foster-Miller’s president and CEO. ‘We are pleased to be working with the US Coast Guard to develop better, safer tools that help defend our coastline against perceived and actual dangers in our crowded harbours, where attack or stray bullets pose a real risk to bystanders and infrastructure. As a company located near a major port in a densely-populated city, we are acutely aware of the importance for protecting these waterways.’



The Boat Trap system was extensively tested in 2005, stopping 100 per cent of its targets. The tests were conducted at the US Coast Guard Special Mission Training Centre (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.