The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and EPE have tested the capabilities of technology developed with the Defence Innovation Hub to detect maritime improvised explosives.

Conducted at Australian Navy base HMAS Coonawarra, the test successfully exhibited the performance and functionality of a new ‘Maritime Portable Raman Improvised Explosive Detector’ (PRIED) prototype.

The technology has been built through a collaboration between the Australian company EPE and the Defence Innovation Hub.

The recent demonstration has strengthened the partnership between the Defence Innovation Hub, the Australian Defence Force and local companies.

“The PRIED system was only available as a vehicle-mounted unit until recently.”

In February, EPE signed a $1m contract with the Defence Innovation Hub to advance the development of the baseline PRIED system in order to support its deployment in the maritime environment.

The maritime PRIED prototype has been designed to provide the Australian Navy with increased awareness and protection through a ‘stand-off’ detection capability that helps identify explosives, chemical warfare agents, narcotics and gases.

Incorporated with UV Raman technology, the PRIED system was only available as a vehicle-mounted unit until recently. It has now been upgraded into a man-packable variant, which enables lightweight, portable stand-off detection.

The quick and safe detection capability facilitates early warning and identification of explosive compounds in a wide range of scenarios such as checkpoints, venues, area, buildings and targets of interest.

The Australian Government is currently investing $200bn to upgrade and modernise the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) capabilities to boost safety and security in the region.