Chemical weapons threat leads to new military tech
Illustration: Chris Gash
Chemical and biological agents like sarin gas and anthrax are a major threat to U.S. and global safety, according to experts.
Leidos recently helped the military develop new shelter systems to protect soldiers during an attack.
Why you should know: Chemical weapons, which can cause slow and painful deaths, are banned under the international treaty called the Chemical Weapons Convention. However, recent events indicate that bad actors continue to develop and use them, in part because they’re easier to obtain than nuclear weapons.
- Chlorine gas, sarin and sulfur mustard gas have been dropped on civilians during the Syrian civil war leaving thousands dead, according to the Global Public Policy Institute.
- ISIS used sulfur, mustard gas and toxic industrial chemicals as weapons in Iraq, according to the Director of National Intelligence.
Specifics: With the new shelter systems, deployed soldiers will be able to continue certain missions during an attack without gas masks or special suits.
- They're made with a flame-resistant, flexible material that provides a barrier to chemical and biological agents.
- Their high-efficiency air filtration systems provide a toxin-free space in contaminated environments.
- They're lightweight, portable and adaptable to different spaces.
- One shelter can be set up in less than 90 minutes, and has enough space and clean air for 20 personnel for 48 hours.
- They're built to withstand 60 mph winds.
From the source: “The major challenge was designing a collective protection system that could be integrated with existing shelters without impacting day-to-day activity,” said Leidos expert Scott Slocum. “Every host shelter is different, so the geometry and compatibility of these units are extremely important to maintain soldier protection.”
Please contact the Leidos media relations team for more information.