Eco-grenades to drones: World offers high-tech military gear to US Army

From eco-friendly hand grenades to next-generation aircraft for special forces, defense vendors from around the world brought their best to catch the eye of the U.S. Army this week.

The Annual General Meeting and three day Exposition of the Association of the United States Army held in downtown Washington DC over 22 through 24 October.

Vendors from across the U.S., both behemoth contractors and mom and pop shops, also trooped in for the meeting, which attracts over 36,000 members and guests annually.

Eight foreign country pavilions pitched up this year to impress the U.S. Army and win contracts in this tough climate of fiscal austerity.


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It was Turkey’s first year at this Expo and the company brought five vendors.

In addition to the weapons that Turkey usually showcases, Turkish Gate Elektronik brought jammer systems for vehicles and rucksacks as well as a range of UUVs or unmanned underwater vehicles.

The 60 kg GMK-C UUV Autonomous Underwater Survey Vehicle has cabled and uncabled autonomous modes and has been deploying for mine detection. 1.5 meters long, the submersible has an operating depth of 100 meters, a maximum velocity of 6 knots with a 5 axis motion of surge, heave, roll, pitch and yaw.

The larger 2.4 meters 270 kg UUV, National AUV Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is intended for mine counter-measure tasks including searching and neturalizing as well as to support rescue missions like retrieval of naval assets. It has an untethered depth of 1000 meters, cruising speed of 6 knots and a suite of sensors from low light cameras to Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler.


South Korea went massive with two sites in the expo: a South Korean Defense Industry Association Pavilion and another collection of companies on the other floor totalling 21 companies the second largest foreign representation.

Korea CNO Tech. LTD brought eco-friendly “green grenades” and 40mm low velocity practice grenades. The company says they use environmentally friendly materials such as naturally degraded clay filler and bio degradable plastic ogive while not compromising on sound and smoke effect.

Ozti brought a series of container solutions including a transportable bakery in a container.  The Bakery Container includes a Lidya series pastry oven for bread and pastry as well as a Volumetric Dough Divider that automatically divides the dough producing up to 21000 pieces of bread per hour at average speed.


Australia brought the largest representation with 26 companies at their pavilion. Dentist in a Box made another appearance this year and now has FDA approval.

A range of capabilities was represented from Explosive Protective Equipment to ballistic protection eyewear by Blueye Eyewear designed for water, air and special operations.

Hailing from Melbourne, Ballantyne Foods is seeking to provide warfighters with a bit of home comfort while deployed abroad.

Their butter in a tin, Pure Creamery Butter does not require refridgeration and has a two-year shelf-life. They have already supplied militaries operating in the Middle East such as Jordan’s Armed Forces, currently supply to UN Peace Missions in Liberia and Sudan and are hoping to provide US soldiers with their butter.

Lunar Lighting Pty Ltd brought their technology to reproduce daylight. The Portable Glare Free Lighting System produces glare free daylight from 124 square yard to up to a football field lasting four hours on one battery.

Israel, France and Canada all had eleven companies at their pavilions while Germany had ten and the United Kingdom went the biggest of this pack of regular AUSA-ers with sixteen.


The U.S. titans in defense continued to go big this year with Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Dynamics putting on the biggest wow factor floor shows. The Super Buffalo Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle dominated in the sheer scale game.

Two states that stepped up to show collectively: Michigan and North Carolina.

Michigan showed an “Automation Alley,” Michigan’s largest technology business association and 13 of their more than 1000 members participated from Atlas Copco Tools and Assembly Systems LLC to Red Viking Engineering. Renowned for their automobile industry, this group sent the message they are strong in defense as well.

North Carolina had six companies representing the state including the truly excellent Combat Medical Systems based just outside of Fort Bragg.  The young company founded just four years ago by a team of experienced military medical personnel and industry product specialist aims to simplify tactical by developing innovative products.

Combat Medical Systems has a revamped website and the great news is that many of their products from Combat Gauze to SWAT-T Tactical Tourniquets are available to civilians.

Siemens and 3M set themselves apart with some show business smarts with eye-catching tactics. Siemens “Smart Chopper” produced in collaboration with Orange County Choppers to build the first electric American chopper and 3M’s NASCAR continuously lured in passers-by to learn more about their companies work in defense.

Wednesday evening saw the event drawing to a close, as guests explored the floor in mess dress and black tie mixing a pre-dinner drink with a last look at the latest in defense tech while en route to the President’s Dinner.

Ballet dancer turned defense specialist Allison Barrie has traveled around the world covering the military, terrorism, weapons advancements and life on the front line. You can reach her at or follow her on Twitter @Allison_Barrie.