CBRN defence market worth $7.9 bln

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Visiongain, an independent thinktank for defence industries, says the global CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) defence market was worth a total of $7.9bln in 2009.

In the past, few terrorists had the motivation and technical ability to carry out large-scale chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) attacks. However, according to the threat assessment released by US intelligence agencies in February 2010, should al-Qaeda can develop CBRN weapons, they believe that it will use them to attack Western targets.

South Africa last year invested in CBRN equipment to deal with possible attacks during the 2010 FIFA soccer World Cup event in the country.

Visiongain anticipates continuing demand for equipment used by CBRN first responders, both in the military domain and the civilian domain such as emergency services. Extensive training programmes are also being delivered to prepare personnel to respond effectively. CBRN detection, protection and decontamination systems are expected to be adopted more widely around the world, particularly in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific market.

The global terrorist threat is expected to remain at an elevated level for many years to come, meaning that government spending on protecting citizens from terrorism is set to continue. Incidents such as the sarin attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995 and the anthrax campaign in the US in 2001 show that CBRN terrorism poses a real danger, Visiongain says.

If a major economic power in Asia, Europe or North America were to suffer a CBRN attack, sales in the global CBRN defence market would increase dramatically, as expects continue to see significant sales growth in the global marketplace, Visiongain adds.

Pic: French Army detonated the bomb in the Fanguafa atoll of the Pacific on August 24 1968