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New Army Radar Detects Suicide Bombers, Courteously Protects Their Privacy

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Last week, the Department of Defense awarded a $48,200,000 firm-fixed-price cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to Science, Engineering and Technology Associates, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SAIC (SAI), which will provide US Army troops with, in a nutshell, suicide bomber detectors.

As described on SET's website, the "SET CounterBomber system integrates radar and video to yield the first-ever system capable of automatically detecting suicide bombers at safe distances."

It "employs visible or IR video cameras to automatically track subjects, and a low-power radar to interrogate them when cued by video."

Then, after "automatically assessing the threat in real time, CounterBomber supports the response team by wirelessly transmitting pictures or live video of the threat to a remote handheld device, such as a PDA."

However, what really sets the CounterBomber apart from "other suicide bomber detection sensors, such as MMW imaging, X-ray backscatter, and magnetometer devices" is that those types of machines -- the ones say, American Airlines passengers walk through each time they fly -- "often create privacy concerns."

Not to worry -- the CounterBomber won't subject body-conscious jihadis trying to kill themselves and everyone in a quarter-mile radius to the scrutiny of a soldier's prying eyes.

Last June, when the Army began testing the units (CounterBombers have actually been in use by the Air Force and Marine Corps since 2008) Seth Robbins of Stars and Stripes explained, "Unlike the new electromagnetic scanners being tested at airports, the system does not create an image of the person naked."

"The system allows soldiers to respect the privacy of Muslim men and women who are uncomfortable with pictures or being frisked by members of the opposite sex," Capt. Karl Gunther, 3rd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, told Robbins.

Great news for all the travelers out there -- sounds like your average terrorist has become far too prudish to handle the standard TSA checkpoint:

Here's a look at the CounterBomber in action, from the Armed Forces Network:

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