JIN to be Freed? Ionatron/ Applied Energetics Counter-IED Contract
On June 6/08, Applied Energetics, Inc. in Tucson, AZ received a $9.3 million cost plus fixed fee contract for the continued development and production of 10 anti-mine systems, plus spares, operator training and technical support for an overseas operational assessment. Work will be performed in Tucson, AZ, and is expected to be complete by June 3/09. One bid was solicited on April 3/08 by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (ARDEC) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD (W91CRB-08-C-0080). See also the corporate release.
Applied Energetics used to be known as Ionatron, and DID has covered Ionatron-related contracts since May 2005, when the firm was also the subject of scrutiny by Defense Tech regarding its legitimacy. The firm saw its Joint IED Neutralizer (JIN) anti-mine vehicle denied deployment to the front lines in 2006, and in May 2006 they signed a cooperation agreement with DRS to help integrate their energy-beam weapons into a different set of vehicles, and make them more robust. Additional research funds to develop its Laser-Guided Energy (LGE)/ Laser-Induced, Plasma-Channel (LIPC) weapons were provided in April 2007, and this contract appears to be the final development phase before initial fielding.