April 24, 2007 Conventional vehicle hindrance devices rely on puncturing tyres - which allow the vehicle to continue for some distance, sometimes out of control, and are ineffective against run-flat tyres. X-Net is a new system that brings any car to a quick, safe stop - as fast as an emergency brake, and with minimal vehicle damage.
QinetiQ's X-Net vehicle arrest system, currently in use by the UK and US defense departments, is man-portable and can be safely deployed in as little as 20 seconds by hand. Small barbed spikes on the leading edge of the net pierce the tyre and wrap the net around the wheel, pulling it tight to prevent the wheel from turning. The car simply skids to a halt, as shown in this video demonstration.
QinetiQ has secured a five-year Indefinite Duration, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with the US Military, for the supply of QinetiQ’s Vehicle Lightweight Arresting Device (VLAD), the US military designation for the X-Net system.
“Securing this contract represents a significant milestone for QinetiQ,” said Fiona Lewinton, MD of QinetiQ’s Land Division. “Non-lethal equipment such as X-Net provides an intermediate solution between the soldiers ‘shouting’ and ‘shooting’, particularly with the increased threat from vehicle borne explosive devices. This contracting arrangement will be a low-burden contracting vehicle and importantly it will enable several future X-Net products to rapidly get into the hands of the user.”
“Of equal importance is the fact that X-Net stops the vehicle without harming its occupants or damaging the vehicle. The driver and passengers remain completely unharmed and any attempts to drive back and forth are thwarted by the net.”
The system is being further developed with a "TruX-Net" prototype currently in testing that can halt vehicles in excess of 10,000kg. Also, QinetiQ is soon to release their X-Tend remote deployment system that can deploy the net in as little as 3 seconds, without putting personnel in the path of the oncoming vehicle.