Fiftieth Navy ship equipped with biodetectors

A U.S. Navy program to equip 128 warships with chemical, biological and radiological defense capabilities recently finished upgrading its 50th vessel.

The installation of the Joint Biological Point Detection Systems means that these ships will possess near real-time biological agent detection, warning identification and sample isolation capabilities, according to SOMD.com.

"The JBPDS system is a terrific upgrade to my ship's combat capability," Commander David Wickersham of the guided missile destroyer USS Ross said, SOMD.com reports. "I can detect biological agents earlier and react sooner to keep the crew safe. JBPDS enables Ross to operate with increased confidence in regions threatened by biological agents."

The JBPDS system was developed by a team of civilian scientists and engineers working with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, led by Navy Program Manager for Biological Detection Systems Mark Brown.

"JBPDS provides commanders with the frontline knowledge necessary to effectively mitigate the after-effects of biological warfare agents," Brown said, according to SOMD.com. "Prompt identification of biological agents and associated treatment will prevent the loss of personnel and help maintain mission readiness.”

A fleet-wide installation of the biodetection systems has been underway on the Navy’s guided missile destroyer and amphibious ship classes since 2005 and is expected to continue through fiscal year 2015.

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