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Underwater and CBRN protective equipment specialist Avon Protection announced during the Eurosatory 2024 defence exhibition in Paris on 17 June that its MCMC100 multi-role rebreathing system has been selected by the New Zealand Defence Force to equip its navy divers. The contract includes the supply of MCM100 systems, spares and accessories, as well as a multi-year support programme.

Initially developed and deployed with global militaries and specialist user groups, the MCM100 delivers enhanced diver safety and extended mission duration for military divers across the spectrum of shallow and deep-water diving operations, including explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), mine-countermeasures (MCM), special forces operations, covert subsurface infiltration, submarine release and infiltration, and manned underwater vehicle operations.

Steve Elwell, president of Avon Protection’s respiratory protection business, told ESD at Eurosatory 2024 that the key features of the MCM100 system are that it offers four hours of endurance and has very high safety levels with triple redundancy in checking its carbon dioxide and oxygen levels.

The electronically controlled, closed-circuit MCM100 uses advanced digital oxygen sensors and a native decompression algorithm to manage the oxygen and decompression risk. System and mission information is fed to the diver via a wrist- or console-mounted handset display and a simple LED-lased head-up display, maximising system useability and allowing the user to focus on the mission rather than the equipment. Additionally, automated pre-dive sequencing reduces mission readiness time and enhances safety.

The MCM100’s modular design ensures a future-proofed capability for the underwater operator, providing users flexibility in how and when they integrate new technologies as they become available or as their mission envelope changes.

“In selecting the MCM100 Multi-Role Rebreather, the New Zealand Defence Force is equipping its military divers with world-leading technology to enhance the safety and effectiveness of their increasingly diverse operations,” Kevin Gurr, Avon Protection’s underwater systems director, was quoted as saying in a company press release. “We look forward to working with the New Zealand Defence Force as this system enters service and we continue to support their operations over the coming years.”

Avon Protection announced during the Eurosatory 2024 defence exhibition in Paris on 17 June that its MCMC100 multi-role rebreathing system has been selected by the New Zealand Defence Force to equip its navy divers. (Photo: Avon Protection)

At Eurosatory 2024 Avon Protection also showcased its Modular Integrated Tactical Respirator (MITR), which the company is launching in two to three months. This features a half mask, which can be worn as an alternative to the user having to wear an FM50 full-face air-purifying respirator, and has powered filtered goggles that consequently do not steam up and provide a positive seal due to the outflow of air. These can also be removed by the user when their use is not necessary.

The MITR was developed by Avon Protection in partnership with the US Department of Defense (DoD) during the time of the Covid pandemic to offer a more comfortable alternative to users having to wear a full face respirator.

At Eurosatory 2024 Avon Protection also showcased its Modular Integrated Tactical Respirator (MITR), which the company is launching in two to three months.

Avon Protection also took the opportunity of Eurosatory 2024 to display its full Exoskin CBRN ensemble. While the company previously provided the respirators, gloves and boots for CBRN protection, it has now subcontracted Australian company Opec to provide a CBRN suit to the required specifications and tailored to fit with Avon Protection’s other products, avoiding any interface issues in difficult areas (such as under the chin or around the cuffs)

The Exoskin-S1 suit passed its Man-in-Simulant Test (MIST) first time within the last six months, meaning that Avon Protection now provides a ‘one-stop’ shop for the whole CBRN ensemble.

With its Exoskin range of products, Avon Protection has become a ‘one-stop shop’ for CBRN protection. (Photo: P Felstead)