Defense Industry Struggling to Find Consistent Anti-Chemichal Method


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Battelle, a nonprofit research and development institute, recently said the key to preparing for the rapidly growing threat of biological or chemical weapons is developing countermeasures with technology that is tested against live agents. According to, the recommendation was directed to defense manufacturers developing detectors, protection and medical countermeasures designed to combat chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) threats.

Battelle explained: “Live-agent testing is the ultimate standard for validating performance of detection systems. It involves controlled-environment exposure of developmental gear or equipment to actual biological threats as well as other advanced threats.”

Live-agent testing is typically conducted near the end of the product development process. But Battelle said adding live-agent testing early into the product development cycle can better prepare manufacturers to meet government requirements and create a competitive advantage.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency also recommended early live-agent testing to academic and commercial institutions that are developing chemical and biological defense technologies.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned that chemical and biological threats were increasing as it released its annual report to Congress on the military’s chemical and biological defense programs.

“Rapid advancements in technology are making it easier for an adversary, whether state or non‐state, to develop chemical and biological (CB) weapons,” DOD and DHS said in the report. “The DoD faces complex threats that pose enduring risks to our Joint Force and the Homeland.”

Battelle, which designs and manufactures products and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers, said testing challenges were more pronounced for government agencies. The company cited the approximately $200 million decline in the DoD’s CBRNE annual budget.