Yenra : Safety : Fire Suppressant Projectiles : Rapid Attack Fire Fighting Systems

Fire

Metal Storm announced today it has signed a heads of agreement with Pyrogen Corporation to proceed with the evaluation, development, and ultimate commercialization of rapid attack fire fighting systems within an anticipated three-year period.

The project objective is to combine Pyrogen's aerosol fire suppressant products with Metal Storm's electronic ballistic delivery technology and to develop 'rapid attack' fire fighting systems capable of fast and effective deployment in a range of situations.

The systems will be designed to provide new and innovative capabilities for fire fighters to target fires that are difficult to access using conventional fire fighting methods.

The rapid attack fire fighting system will provide firefighters with the ability to accurately deliver Pyrogen fire suppressant projectiles deep into a fire, repeatedly, in volume, and at very high rates, with projectiles fired from Metal Storm multi-barrel pods mounted on mobile or airborne platforms.

Metal Storm's Chief Executive Officer Charles Vehlow said he was very pleased that the company's ongoing relationship with Pyrogen - an international fire protection company which distributes its products through a worldwide network of distributors and dealers - had progressed to this stage.

"Metal Storm's existing medium caliber, multi-barrel pod systems are ideally suited to deliver fire suppressant products in unprecedented quantities with unmatched speed and precision to extinguish fires in a range of circumstances," Mr Vehlow said.

"The potential applications include fitting the Metal Storm system onto fire trucks, helicopters and ships for fighting fires at locations such as airports, in high rise buildings, oil rigs, naval and cargo ships as well as fighting industrial fuel fires and certain types of residential forest fires," he said.

"Metal Storm's internal product testing and development program provides significant technical leverage for the company to move forward in the fire fighting industry. The Metal Storm multi-barrel delivery systems applicable for use in fire fighting, and Pyrogen's fire suppressant products, are existing technologies with proven capabilities," he said.

Metal Storm had already developed non-metallic, non-flammable projectile casings required for such fire fighting applications said Mr Vehlow.

"Metal Storm and Pyrogen intend to progressively target specific applications in the multi billion dollar fire fighting markets in Australia, Asia, USA and Europe to take advantage of Pyrogen's existing market base," he said.

"The heads of agreement provides for a three stage development process. The first two stages target the execution of a formal commercial development agreement and a supporting project business plan. The final stage contemplated is the implementation of the business plan. Announcements will be made as each stage is completed or as developments occur.

"This project is designed to open up an important new market segment for the application of Metal Storm's electronic ballistic technology and further demonstrates its capacity to embrace non-military as well as military uses," Mr Vehlow said.

Pyrogen's Australian Manager, Dr Julia Berezovsky said the project was a very exciting development which had the potential to significantly extend Pyrogen's capabilities in the fire fighting industry.

"Our preliminary analysis indicates we can expect to dramatically increase fire combat effectiveness when Pyrogen's products are combined with Metal Storm's rapid delivery system," Dr Berezovsky said.

"We intend to involve our major USA distributor, Firepak Oil and Gas Industries, Ltd.

"Pyrogen's aerosol is a widely accepted non-ozone depleting alternative to Halon. Halon is due to be phased out by 2003 under the 'Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer'. Pyrogen's aerosol complies with international environmental standards," Dr Berezovsky said.

Pyrogen is conducting ongoing research and development in the fire suppression market and opening new applications for Pyrogen aerosol technology.

Halon, a commonly used product in fire fighting, will be phased out by 2003 under the 'Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer'. This protocol is regulated through the United Nations Environment Program. Pyrogen aerosol is a widely accepted alternative to Halon and has proven to be an effective fire suppression and extinguishing agent.