PyroGenesis Canada has received a contract from an international military consortium to develop a tactical mobile-plasma system for the destruction of chemical warfare agents (CWAs).

The $1.5m contract consists of two phases, the first of which requires the company to design and develop a self-contained mobile tactical unit, which will be used for the destruction of CWAs similar to the ones used in Syria.

The second phase, which is yet to be contracted, will include the fabrication and delivery of the plasma unit to the consortium for evaluation, using both simulated and actual CWAs.

"The risk and expense of moving toxic substances will soon be avoided through the deployment of a PyroGenesis tactical unit."

PyroGenesis Canada Strategic Alliances executive vice-president Gillian Holcroft said the system is scalable, which means larger units can be delivered for the in-situ destruction of hazardous chemicals and biological threats.

"The risk and expense of moving toxic substances will soon be avoided through the deployment of a PyroGenesis tactical unit," Holcroft said.

The situation in Syria has highlighted the urgent need for a rapidly deployable, tactical-mobile unit that has rapid destruction capabilities and generates no toxic by-products, according to PyroGenesis.

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PyroGenesis Canada president and chief executive officer Peter Pascali said the company’s proposed solution will address these requirements with the ‘push of a single button’.

"We are confident that we will receive funds for phase two, but given the international and complex nature of the project and the constantly changing situational landscape, although unlikely, it should be noted that phase two could be delayed or cancelled," Pascali said.

"We expect to continue to be involved in discussions with the military as the problem of chemical weapon destruction is debated and evolves."

If the contract proceeds to phase two, the company expects to deliver the tactical plasma system this year.

The destruction of massive amounts of chemical weapons is currently being carried out by a US Army-developed technology.

Defence Technology