RONKONKOMA, NY — NOVEMBER 29, 2010 — The Hawki™ Video Aiming Device engineered and manufactured by API Technologies Corp., a provider of highly engineered products and services to the global defense sector, recently played a critical role in rendering an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The IED was discovered underneath a car parked in Lancaster, California at around 10 am on September 23, 2010.
One of the five teams from the Arson Explosives Detail of the Los Angeles Sheriff Department responded to the scene and deployed their Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) robot equipped with the Hawki Video Aiming Device. In situations like this, it is standard procedure for the team to render the IED safe with a disrupter from the robot. Accuracy of the shot is critical to the overall success and safety of the mission.
Detective Enrique Velazquez stated, "One of our crews used a robot equipped with the Hawki aiming device to help us disrupt an IED under a vehicle. They were able to get the robot’s gun under the vehicle and made a great shot on the device knocking it off the vehicle and completely disrupting it." He also added that the teams have gained confidence in the system and are now much faster at getting the shot on target. "I am not sure how we ever got by without it," he said.
The Hawki Video Aiming Device is rapidly becoming a vital part of the Arson Explosives Detail of LA Sheriff Department’s toolkit. It is attached to a disrupter and utilizes a camera and a rangefinder to automatically place crosshairs on the robot operators monitor. While approaching a target, the crosshairs adjust the aim point based on the range to the target in order to show the operator the true point of impact for their shot. No calibration is required and no adjustments are needed by the operator to account for the range to the target. The system also displays range to target in the upper left corner of the video image helping the operator to continually judge distance during the mission. The Hawki video aiming device promotes a more accurate shot regardless of distance from the explosive device.
Steve Pudles, CEO of API Defense USA, said, "We are pleased that the LA Sheriff Department was able to employ the Hawki Video Aiming Device with such great success. Through robotic and computer technology we have greatly reduced the need to put a human at risk in an IED situation. This is just one of API’s many security solutions for defense, homeland security and the police designed to make a dangerous world safer."
The Hawki can attach easily to most Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) disrupter barrels or shotguns in the United States. Today, there are over 4,000 barrels being used by EOD squads in the US. The Hawki is also compatible with other EOD shotguns and disruptor systems being used by more than 500 European robots.