New Zealand military touts technology development

Nov. 7, 2013 at 11:47 AM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- The technology unit of New Zealand's Defense Force is reporting international interest in its seabed mine training system for divers.

The Maritime EOD Training, Ranging and Evaluation System, or METRES, is a composite replica mine which sits on the seabed and trains divers who interact with them.

The U.S. Navy has ordered six of the systems, which the Defense Technology Agency said has led to potential customer inquiries from major military powers.

"Following on from the sales to the U.S. Navy we can expect interest from other military organizations as well," DTA Director Dr. Brian Young. "It can be configured to the specifications of a variety of mines and carries sensors that can detect approaching divers and activates in various ways depending on how noisy or active they are around it,"

International interest is also being shown in DTA's development of avionics for unmanned aerial vehicles.

"The avionics are certainly world-leading in terms of both mission capability -- including sensor control -- and safety systems," Young said. "In the event of a system failure it (a UAV outfitted with the avionics system) has the ability to self-terminate a mission and return to base, or alternatively it can deploy a parachute to land safely."

DTA technologies are being commercialized by commercialized by Air Affairs Ltd, a New Zealand company that provides defense and aviation equipment and systems.

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