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News

DefenCell provides force protection in Camp Bastion

J & S Franklin : 30 January, 2008  (Technical Article)
Terram teams up with J & S Franklin to develop the new generation of force protection equipment
New technology is changing the way that physical force protection is viewed; some of the latest developments are being deployed in Afghanistan with considerable success and winning high praise.

First there was the sandbag… then came gabions… now a new element in field fortifications is emerging that could give the Sappers an enhanced, multifaceted capability that will bring new benefits to the ever increasing requirement for effective physical force protection solutions.

Since deploying to the Balkans over 15 years ago, the Corps has found itself increasingly more involved with the construction of static force protection in the form of blast walls, protective bunds, sangars and EOD protective works. As well as this, we continue to assist the Engineer Regiment which began construction of Camp Bastion, in Helmand Province, which has recently undergon infrastructure construction, including the building of roads, culverts and flood protection. DefenCell is a relatively new military addition that will enable us to have additional options when undertaking all of these tasks. Recently, DefenCell was used at the Lodge Hill Ponderosa and at DEODS to provide an enhancement to the EOD training area.


During early 2006, 39Engineering Regiment began construction of Camp Bastion, in Helmand Province, which has recently won a Special Award at the British Construction Industry Awards 2007 and was praised for coming in under budget (53m), ahead of schedule and for overcoming seemingly insurmountable logistic and security problems.

Part of the requirement was for a Joint Ammunition Supply Point (ASP) with the ability to securely contain an ammunition NEQ of 70,000kg, The design of both ASPs called for over 1,000metres of 4m high bunds around the storage points in order to provide the required protection. This posed three distinct problems: minimising the footprint of the walls, reducing the logistics burden that this size of construction presented and thirdly any solution needed to be metal free in order to reduce the dangers from secondary fragmentation should an explosion occur and to limit the build-up of static electricity that could effect sensitive weapon fuzes.

A suitable design was provided and Terram manufactured the geotextile cells required to construct the bunding for both ASPs and delivered 20km of geotextile cells in just four trucks. The reduction on the logistical footprint was a huge benefit in a task where stores travelled thousands of miles, including carriage through the Khyber Pass. And for soldiers and commanders alike, the reduction of even one vehicle in a convoy is a real morale booster!

Since the success of the Terram geotextile cells in Afghanistan, Terram has teamed up with J & S Franklin and have developed a geotextile cell wall concept into a versatile blast-wall, ground stabilisation and vehicle barrier system that is now known as DefenCell. This innovative product is emerging as a new generation in Force Protection systems that can provide additional capabilities or complement existing systems.
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