Bond-type gadgets on display

JAMES Bond would have felt right at home at this week's homeland security exhibition in Singapore. 

A dark, sleek armoured truck that can shoot down incoming missiles, the world's smallest V-satellite phone system and an ultra-quiet boat engine were just some of the merchandise Agent 007 would have ordered for his arsenal. 

Organisers said more than 150 exhibitors from 16 nations took part in the three-day Global Security Asia conference and exhibition that ended yesterday. 

They showcased the latest equipment and systems specifically developed to meet the needs of military special forces and government security agencies as they battle militants and other enemies. 

BATTLE TRUCK: A visitor peeking inside the Smart Truck III on display at the exhibition in Singapore. --AFPpic

State-of-the art devices to enhance airport and maritime security, border control and surveillance as well as identification and tracking systems were also on display. 

Technologies “can both facilitate terrorism and be used to defend against the terrorist,” said conference chairman John Forrest. 

Easily the star of the show was the Smart Truck III. 

Sleek, black and massive, the armoured vehicle is equipped with a full range of electronic devices that enable the five-member crew to monitor the environment and control a lethal arsenal. 

Unlike the more rugged Humvee, the Smart Truck's air-conditioned interior boasts black leather seats and a command and control area with an array of flat-screen monitors and multi-coloured control buttons. 

One button can control a menacing .50 calibre machinegun mounted on the roof that can fire 520 rounds per minute. 

It has several cameras, including one in a periscope that can rise up to 9m, giving the crew a sweeping view of the surrounding terrain. 

One touch of a button can activate one of 16 missiles on the truck's sides to shoot down any incoming rocket propelled grenade (RPG) in mid-air. 

“Sensors pick up the heat and the speed of the incoming RPG and a missile is released to intercept it,” said Rudolph Miller of the US Army's Research Development Engineering Command, which helped develop the battle truck. 

The missiles can be replaced with teargas canisters if the truck is used for crowd control. 

The price tag is US$65,000 (RM247,039) for the basic truck alone. Missiles and other weapons will cost extra. – AFP  

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