3M Canada has been awarded a contract to supply new 3M M61 respiratory mask canisters to the US Department of Defense (DoD).

Valued at $3m, the contract was awarded through the Canadian Commercial Corporation under the Defence Production Sharing Agreement, signed between Canada and the US, and requires 3M Defense to supply an unspecified number of respiratory mask canisters to the US Army.

The agreement forms part of an indefinite-delivery / indefinite-quantity contract issued in December 2011, which has a potential value of more than $100m over seven years.

"The 3M M61 canister combines the latest filter technologies with four decades of 3M respiratory expertise."

The M61 canister is designed to protect soldiers against a broad range of respiratory threats beyond legacy military hazards. It uses a bed of adsorbent carbon material and a functional bottom retainer.

In particular, the canister offers protection against toxic industrial chemicals and gases that soldiers could be exposed to during counter-terror and natural-disaster response missions.

The lightweight canister is an integral part of the new M50 joint-service general purpose mask (JSGPM) and companion M51 combat vehicle mask, which are used by all branches of the US military.

3M Canada business development manager Glenn Long said: "The 3M M61 canister combines the latest filter technologies with four decades of 3M respiratory expertise, providing optimal troop protection without impacting tactical agility.

"The use of dual 3M M61 canisters on the M50 and M51 masks reduces breathing resistance, enhancing both troop safety and performance."

The M50 and M51 masks have dual-canister designs to allow soldiers to replace each of the M61 canisters while maintaining a protected breathing environment.

Manufacturing work under the contract will be carried out at the company’s Canadian facilities and deliveries are scheduled to be completed by February 2015.

Defence Technology