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NATO, Russia say device used to scan crowds for explosives near completion

Published time: October 31, 2013 03:56
Edited time: October 31, 2013 06:06
Passengers at the Park Kultury subway station, Moscow (RIA Novosti)

Passengers at the Park Kultury subway station, Moscow (RIA Novosti)

NATO and Russia announced Wednesday that they have achieved the ability to target and locate bombs planted in large crowds, such as commuter hubs and sporting events.

The Stand-off Detection of Explosives and Suicide Bombers system (STANDEX) "could help NATO allies and Russia prevent terrorist attacks such as those carried out on the public transport systems in London, Madrid and Moscow" in the past decade, NATO said in a video news release that included Russian partners.

The project took four years and 4.8 million euros (US$6.6 million) of investment, paid for by NATO, Britain, France, Italy, Russia, Turkey, and the United States.

STANDEX - what NATO calls "world-first technology" - was developed by Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Russian laboratories and companies.

The system was first tested live in June within an underground station in an unnamed European city. STANDEX technology “can detect explosives remotely, in real time and without disrupting the flow of passengers,” NATO claims.

Still from YouTube video/NATO

STANDEX, especially aimed at finding conventional explosives attached to suicide bombers, uses a series of sensors and microwave scanning technology that can precisely detect abnormal molecular structures within crowds unaware of its presence.

NATO maintains that the system can operate "in full respect of international security laws.”

Russia is set to soon test response scenarios in the St. Petersburg metro.

The stated goal for the technology is to now let industry build on the system for commercialization at major transportation hubs and sports stadiums within the next two years.

Stand-off bomb detection systems are a growing market, according to American consulting firm Homeland Security Market Research. By 2014, it predicts that market demand for such devices will increase sixfold, to $1.5 billion from its demand in 2009.

“The maturity and deployment of new standoff technologies capable of detecting IEDs, suicide (sic) and other terrorists at a safe distance will change the landscape of homeland security and the global war on terror,” the firm wrote in 2010. “This year will be remembered as the year in which the multi-billion dollar standoff terrorist detection market was born.”

Comments (9)


Peter Jennings 01.11.2013 15:24

Could be useful. I just hope they get it right otherwise they could be jailing people for handling a pack of cards or dominos in a pub or some other innocent substance as happened in the UK with numerous people being accused of being members of the IRA and jailed for life.

They were later released of course but that had little to do with the justice system and everything to do with the families and years & years of campaigning. Some had already died in jail.

We could have done with this device on 7/7 and would have known who really had the explosives.


Tom Sullivan 31.10.2013 13:44

Hardly useless...the bomber can be targeted and eliminated covertly without them ever knowing when or how...simple and easliy done once they are identified.

This is great technology which will help contain this senseless global threat.

Ira g should put their order in now!!!


We the People 31.10.2013 13:22

I'm all for stopping terrorism. What I don't understand is how the a country 17 trillion dollars in debt can loan money to anyone. So actually its more like the countries the US government is borrowing money from should really get the credit.

View all comments (9)
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