Canada developing vehicle-mounted aerosol detector

Billions of dollars are being spent to defeat the threat of improvised explosive devises in Afghanistan, including those that might release chemical or biological weapons.

The Canadian military has been developing a vehicle mounted device that can detect bio-aerosol agents, including anthrax, from over 100 meters, according to

This project is part of over $16 billion that has been spent in the last five years by the Joint IED Defeat Organization to defeat the devices that often cost only a few dollars to make. In 2010, the budget for the JIEDDO was $2.6 billion.

Maj. Daniel Hilliker of the Canadian Air Force told that in the last 30 years the IED has become the weapon-of-choice for insurgencies around the globe.

"So we've had to come up with a completely new technology, completely new tactics and completely new equipment," Hilliker said, according to

IEDs have been behind the majority of the Canadian deaths in Afghanistan since the conflict began.

Military analysts say insurgents use the devices because they cannot compete with the Western militaries in a conventional battle. On the rare occasions that they have engaged NATO soldiers on the battlefield, they have been routed.

"They just can't do that, they're not equipped, they're not trained and when they try to do it, they get beat," Hilliker said, reports.

Hilliker said that, overall, the project has been a success.