11 May 06. International sales of QinetiQ’s X-Net vehicle stopping system pass the 2000 unit mark.
This month sales of QinetiQ X-Net’s, which are proven to bring vehicles quickly and safely to a complete standstill, passed the 2000 unit mark, providing military, police and civilian authorities with a valuable life-saving tool. X-Net’s have already been successfully deployed or are currently undergoing evaluation with a number of overseas customers and have generated in excess of £3.5m in revenue for QinetiQ.
The US military is currently the single largest user, having recently ordered an additional 600+ units, many of which are now being deployed in theatres of operation including Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti. Here they are typically used as mobile checkpoints to control vehicle flow, such as peacekeeping operations and during terrorist alerts. X-Net’s can also be used for asset protection, to cordon off regions or roadways and to stop vehicles entering or leaving defined locations such as inner city ‘rings of steel’, buildings or airports. When deployed in pursuit management, X-Net allows specific vehicles to be targeted.
X-Net is currently being evaluated by a number of non military organisations inside and outside of the USA along with a host of Western European countries, several Middle Eastern nations, plus Australia and others in the Pacific rim.
“When deployed by the military, X-Net is extremely effective at controlling vehicles that might be used against important or vulnerable sites,” explained Fiona Lewinton, MD of QinetiQ’s Land Division. “When used by the police or other civil authorities, cars and a range of medium sized commercial vehicles can be safely bought to a complete and safe standstill. There is no doubt that X Net is a popular vehicle arresting solution with authorities and has great potential to save lives and protect property wherever it is deployed.”
The current version of X-Net is a man-portable device that is able to bring a range of road vehicles to a complete and safe standstill, typically within 75 metres, irrespective of being fitted with standard or run flat tyres. Swiftly laid out on a road in the face of the oncoming target car, van or light truck, the X-Net wraps around the wheels and axle of the target vehicle bringing it to a safe stop. The driver remains completely unharmed and any attempts to drive forwards or backwards are thwarted by the net, further entangling around the wheels and axle of the vehicle.
A number of X-Net variants are also being developed by QinetiQ. A version designed to successfully deal with heavy trucks and larger vehicles is due to be demonstrated in the Autumn. A remote deploying system, designed to automatically extend the X-Net across the path of the oncoming target vehicle is also being tested and research into a version deployed from the air is being explored.
Fiona Lewinton concluded: “X-Net is a typical example of how QinetiQ’s role is expanding from the provision of fundamental defence research into that of a total solutions provider. We’ve not simply come up with a technological concept and delivered a demonstrator but have undertaken the complete productisation cycle including manufacturer, sales and distribution, adding real commercial value at each stage. Adding the new variants to our current family of X-Net products will also prove extremely useful to Customers around the globe.”
Every year numerous cars and vehicles are stolen, used for joy-riding, generally driven dangerously or even used in a variety of criminal acts which end up costing the taxpayer – both indirectly and directly – millions each year, because of the damage caused as law enforcement forces endeavour to detain the drivers. Almost every potential civilian customer that has seen X-Net demonstrated agrees it both offers a greater degree of public safety and has a huge potential to reduce hazards to police users and the general public, simply because it has t