The opening of its first office in Larbert, Scotland on 2 May 2018 signalled the start of even bigger things within the global defence market for specialty CBRN apparel brand, OPEC CBRNe.
With more than 100 key influencers and suppliers, trade representatives and key international decision makers in attendance, the opening indicates OPEC CBRNe’s commitment to a British production base, and its strong affiliation with Haven Protective Solutions, where OPEC CBRNe now shares an address.
During the opening, guests were able to witness the functionality and integration capabilities of the CBRN garments, which were worn by serving soldier Richie Barr, and were treated to a working tour of the factory premises.
“OPEC CBRNe is focussed on the fusion of technology with innovation to create superior CBRN garments for military and first responders, providing optimal protection against attacks in both military and civil environments,” said OPEC CBRNe General Manager, Chris Jackson during the opening.
Taking inspiration from real and legendary birds of prey, the OPEC CBRNe range features its flagship ‘Kestrel’ and ‘Phoenix’ ensembles. Underpinned by decades of pioneering research and development, these garments exceed NATO standards and are made using lightweight materials, advanced assembly techniques, and modern innovations in suit design.
The tried and tested Kestrel has already established a reputation with its award in 2017 as the preferred CBRN ensemble for the Australian Government.
“We’ve taken tremendous strides with the two-piece Kestrel. It’s constructed using a particular fabric combination that delivers a 30 per cent lighter suit than current systems, without any compromise to CBRN protection. It eclipses its design brief for coolness, comfort, ease of movement and breathability, and is ideally suited to high heat burden environments,” he said.
Another addition to the range is the ‘Falcon’, which achieves all the protection and comfort features of the Kestrel in a one-piece format; and in advanced development is ‘The Roc’ and ‘The Garuda’.
“We are currently experiencing a global shift in risk priorities. The recent events at Salisbury demonstrate the changing nature of civil threats both within the UK and further afield, and the need for first responders to be adequately protected from CBRN risk as they perform their daily duties.”
OPEC CBRNe first entered the sector in 2015 when its parent company, OPEC Systems, commenced a licensing agreement with Haven Protective Solutions to acquire the rights to produce a range of CBRN protective garments from the former Remploy Frontline.
“We are very pleased to be working with Haven to deliver quality CBRN products for military and front line personnel within the global defence market.”
“While our affiliation with Haven represents a mutual alignment of our core values, we also recognise that the Haven production facility is world class, supported by a skilled and experienced team that is already achieving international traction, and that understands the unique nature of CBRN garment construction.”
“We are also gratified that the important work of this social enterprise in providing meaningful long-term employment for disabled people, which started under the former Remploy Frontline, can continue under the OPEC CBRNe brand.”
While OPEC CBRNe is a relatively new player in the UK market, its Australian based owner, OPEC Systems, has been operating in the CBRN space since 1998 as a major supplier of CBRN equipment and a respected contractor for clean-up of contaminated chemical weapons sites.