Ministry of Defence
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New explosive door-breaching technology brought to market

The design for a safer and more effective way to breach doors is based on research by Dstl and has been licensed to a specialist UK company.

A new breaching grenade technology developed by the UK government has been licensed to Energetics Technology Limited (ETL) in a deal that will improve explosive method of entry (EMOE) operations and improve safety for operatives.

UK-based ETL, a specialist in energetic materials and blast products, has taken a licence for a 40mm stand-off breaching grenade technology developed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). The deal was brokered by Ploughshare Innovations in its role as the MOD’s Technology Transfer Office.

The Stand-off Breaching Grenade is designed for use in scenarios where there is a need to breach locked doors to gain access to a building or room. It is particularly advantageous for operations in built-up urban environments and use within buildings and other confined spaces where current door breaching rounds cannot be deployed safely.

The design, developed over several years of research by Dstl, can deform a variety of door materials – including multi-lock steel doors – to enable access by the breaching team. The improved directional control of the explosive blast lowers the risk to the breaching team and reduces their stand-off distance. Fragmentation effects behind the door are also minimised which reduces collateral damage.

Because the blast can be highly targeted, a reduced amount of explosive can be used. This reduction in net explosive quantity (NEQ) makes the grenades less hazardous to use, handle, store and transport than conventional alternatives.

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said:

The development of this technology is a great example of how defence collaborates with industry and academia to promote innovation. The UK’s commitment to defence innovation is steadfast, signified by the MOD’s £6.6 billion commitment to research and development over the next 4 years.

Supported by our investment into research, science and technology, this cutting-edge design delivers vital improvements for users across a range of environments.

Nick Joad, Director MOD Defence Science & Technology (DST), said:

The Defence S&T Strategy and the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy both place significant emphasis on the positive partnerships between industry, academia and government.

These linkages enable us to make the most of the increased spending in research and development through the latest Spending Review. They also contribute to wider government objectives by encouraging local investment and employment, increasing local prosperity across all the regions and nations of the UK.

The licensing of this technology is a great example of research driving into capability, which will directly benefit our armed forces, as well as the contribution it provides to the local community in Derbyshire.

Dr Peter Jemmett, Managing Director at ETL, part of the international Etienne Lacroix Group, said:

This advanced technology is a game-changer for tactical operations, giving breaching teams improved logistical capabilities and increasing operational effectiveness while reducing risk.

We are grateful to Ploughshare Innovations for their assistance that has allowed us access to this Dstl innovation. It will strengthen our portfolio further and will enable us to deliver capability to a wide range of defence and homeland security users.

Hetti Barkworth-Nanton, CEO of Ploughshare Innovations, said:

We are delighted to be playing our part in bringing this technology to market. It is a prime example of our commitment to working with innovative companies to bring the results of government research to market for the benefit of UK businesses and to deliver capability to our defence and security services.

The technology licensed to ETL is one of more than 125 licensed to companies since Ploughshare Innovations was founded to enable businesses to gain access to defence and security technologies developed by leading government laboratories.

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