Monday, September 27, 2021

Interview with Steve Elwell, VP of Asia, Middle East and Europe from Avon Protection.

Avon Protection is at the forefront of supplying integrated Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) solutions to military and law enforcement forces worldwide.

Steve Elwell

How did Avon Protection become involved in the CBRN market?

We have been supplying respiratory protective equipment to military forces, civil defence and emergency services for over 100 years. This includes the UK Ministry of Defence and other allies since the First World War and we are a primary supplier of integrated protective equipment to NATO and the United States Department of Defence. With over 3.5 million respirators in service, users in over 65 countries all put their trust in Avon Protection’s technology to shield them from whatever threat.

What current CBRN threats do troops in operation have to be aware of?

The use of chemical weapons by state actors and terrorists in the last decade has clearly demonstrated that the nature of threats to international security has changed significantly. COVID has demonstrated to all, the impact of a biological weapon and this will not go unnoticed by bad actors and we are ensuring that our CBRN defence capabilities are fit for this emerging threat. Most militaries now recognize this CBW threat and are in a process of reinvesting in appropriate CBRN defence capabilities. At Avon Protection we are continuously accessing the threat and working with our military customers worldwide to ensure we design, develop and deliver world leading capabilities to meet their specific requirements.

What CBRN solutions do Avon Protection offer India?

Avon Protection offer a broad portfolio of CBRN products that meet the requirements of the Indian Ministry of Defence (IMOD). Our market leading CBRN solutions include a range of respirators, filters, Powered Air systems, Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and communication, hydration and vision accessories.

Core to our CBRN protection solutions is the 50 series range of respirators. Developed in conjunction with the United States Department of Defense to counter the multiple CBRN threats met in modern war fighting, anti-terrorist and peace-keeping operations. The 50 series respirators are the most operationally proven and widely deployed battlefield respirators in the world.

How will Avon Protection support the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative?

At Avon Protection we recognise the importance of the “Make in India” requirements and we are currently in discussions with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to support the design, development, and delivery of a new range of Indian made CBRN equipment to the IMOD.

We have proven history in opening local manufacturing and assembly lines across the world and are currently in the process of selecting an Indian industry partner to enable us to develop and manufacture our products in India. Initially, our intention is to work with the partner to provide IMOD with Avon’s technology for the development and introduction of the MKIII Air Purifying Respirator’s (APR’s) and filters.

What can you offer the Indian Ministry of Defence that others in the market cannot?

Our goal is to provide the IMOD with Avon’s 100 years’ experience of design, development, and manufacture of world leading CBRN equipment to ensure the Indian military forces have the highest levels of CBRN protection available. We are delighted to be supporting the Indian Government’s drive to achieve Atmanirbhar Bharat and an expanded defence export market. We are extremely excited about what will hopefully become a long-term relationship with the Defence Forces of the World’s largest democracy.

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