March 27, 2008 - Raytheon, which made Gizmag headlines recently with their bunker-busting warhead, has demonstrated another concrete-breaching technology – but unlike the Tandem Warhead System, those on the receiving end of the CIRT will be very pleased to see it. The Controlled Impact Rescue Tool will be used for urban search and rescue operations, and uses concentrated shockwaves to penetrate concrete and rubble far more quickly than drilling, sawing or chipping.
CIRT uses multiple blank ammunition cartridges to drive an impact head, which sends concentrated shock loads into the concrete, creating a hole large enough for a person to manoeuvre through. The 100-pound device can be operated by two people, and lacks the awkward and restrictive power cables required by drills and jackhammers.
The CIRT can breach concrete in less than half the time required by other methods. In a recent demonstration it penetrated a concrete barrier in 13 minutes, while competing methods achieved a similar result only after 29 minutes.
“This revolutionary approach decreased by 50 percent the time it takes to reach a victim trapped by concrete, increasing the probability of a successful rescue,” said Guy DuBois, vice president of Raytheon’s Operational Technologies and Solutions business.
Safely extracting people from building debris is obviously a time-critical and delicate operation - and delicacy is not a Jackhammer's strong-suit. CIRT will bring a higher level of control to the process, and save a lot of valuable time.