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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

16 September 2015

DSEI 2015: Avon Protection Responds to Changing CBRN Threats with New Product Range

After 5 years of development, Avon Protection is launching a new modular range of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) respiratory protection products to meet the new CBRN threat environment and changing needs of the specialist user. The patented design approach delivers maximum operational flexibility – interchangeable components allow for multiple protection level configurations that can be rapidly assembled as threats change.

The last decade has clearly demonstrated that the nature of threats to international security has changed significantly. Challenges such as terrorism, cyber-attacks and nuclear proliferation have created an entirely new security environment.

"At Avon we know and understand the threat today and what it means for tomorrow," a company executive said. "We have widened our offering to deliver customized threat-focused end-to-end security solutions to our customers, underpinned by expert analysis, innovation and operational experience. Consultancy and support for tailored pre-incident and threat analysis, incident response, and the restoration of business as usual is combined with our world-leading CBRN products and expert training."

The changing threat environment means that personal protective equipment (PPE) specification and requirements are evolving. The reduction in CBRN budgets and resourcing has driven the need for products to be multi-purpose and have greater capability/usage with other products, be simple to maintain, and have a lower cost of ownership.

"In response we have developed a new range of CBRN respiratory protection equipment that is interoperable, cost effective, and able to protect users from a broad spectrum of CBRN situations – from small scale chemical spills or incidents at major events, through to full defense solutions - to meet the new and changing needs of the specialist user," he continued.

A patented design approach delivers maximum operational flexibility – interchangeable components allow for multiple protection level configurations that can be rapidly assembled to accommodate changing threats. With reduced burden and greater integration with legacy equipment, enhanced protection against toxic industrial chemicals, ease of weapon sighting, integrated communications, and high flow hydration connections, the new products enable the wearer to stay comfortable and effective in physically taxing scenarios.

Core products in the new range include the new FM54 respiratory mask, which delivers maximum protection from CBRN, Riot Agents, Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICS) and Toxic Industrial Materials whilst maintaining extreme user flexibility as requirements change. Communication upgrades provide improved levels of passive speech and an amplified voice projection unit to project commands. Flame hardened design for flash overs, and with a lower cost of ownership, the new FM54 sets the bar for CBRN respiratory protection worldwide.

The new AvonAir range provides the first adaptive powered air system configurable to changing operational requirements. The Avon EZAir+ is a single filter CBRN airflow system, substantially smaller and quieter than traditional powered air units, it provides the power source for all configurations of the AvonAir range. With 70% lower cost of ownership, EZAir+ is specifically aimed at reducing mask wearer burden without the traditional weight and bulk of traditional Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR’s).

The Avon MPPAPR CE is a next generation CBRN PAPR to provide wearers with increased cooling effect, significantly less user burden and reduced pulmonary stress. The first flexible-bodied, modular PAPR is designed to be integrated with a wide range of protective equipment. Carry systems include back mount with integrated hydration bladder option, traditional belt wear and MOLLE mount for ballistic vest integration. The MPAPR module automatically detects the EZAir+ when fitted and increases the flow rate for two filters. MPPAPR deploys a new generation of crush proof, highly flexible CBRN hose for improved integration, optional remote power switch and multiple battery packs make the unit the most versatile PAPR system ever, according to the company.

The CSPAPR CE is Avon’s newest CBRN PAPR for use in Combination Unit Respirators (CUR’s) and integrates with the proven ST53 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). The patented combination hose module converts the MPPAPR into the CSPAPR allowing for SCBA and Airline integration. Also deploying crush proof hose technology, the quick release mask connection also includes a single rotary selector that allows the wearer to select all modes of protection with one rapid action. Lighter and smaller than legacy equipment, the optional auto filter covers module seal off the PAPR filters to protect against extreme environments when in SCBA mode.

Commenting on the launch, James Wilcox, Global Director of Marketing said, “After 5 years of development, working alongside the end-user community, Avon has produced the next generation of modular CBRN respiratory protection. Our focus on providing the wearer with lighter, modular and fully integrated solutions is evident in the AvonAir® range. In addition the ability for customer to configure systems depending on operational needs dramatically lowers their cost of ownership and maintenance.”