Counter-IED Technologies: A New Kind of Arms Race

There are currently about 90 known ways to detonate an IED, and growing. As counter IED technologies evolve, so do IED detonation techniques, creating a new kind of arms race. Both sides are fast learners and invest substantial resources in outwitting the opponent. According to Homeland Security Research Corp.’s (HSRC) research, 2008-2012 Global Counter-IED Markets and Technologies Forecast released in July 07, this unique situation creates a robustly dynamic counter-IED technology market, hungry for innovation and “out of the box” thinking, and eager to test best-in-class, next generation technologies. Despite the multiple ideas and the attempts to attack the problem from multiple angles (RF, IR, MMW, Terahertz, Mechanical means, aerial surveillance, video, CCTV, and many others), the ability to detect and neutralize an IED from a safe distance, and the ability to detect and neutralize IED professionals, labs, storage places, transport means or deployments have not been altogether sufficient.