MAY 9--American Science and Engineering Inc. (AS&E; Billerica, MA; www.as-e.com) has signed a three-year blanket purchase agreement worth up to $500 million from the US Department of Defense (DOD). The contract, which covers x-ray inspection systems, calls for no minimum purchases, but the company expects to receive "significant orders" from the federal government. AS&E's inspection systems are capable of detecting car and truck bombs, combating weapons smuggling, and imaging cargo to expose contraband and illegal immigrants. The timing and amount of any orders are yet to be determined.
The DOD currently uses AS&E x-ray inspection systems for a variety of Force Protection and counterterrorism applications around the world. AS&E systems are also in use by more than 35 high-security US government agencies.
AS&E systems rely on a combination of transmission and patented Z backscatter detection, which detects plastic explosives, illegal drugs, and other contraband, even when artfully concealed in complex backgrounds by terrorists and smugglers. The use of two detection technologies provides substantially more information to security personnel for threat detection.