The tent supplied to the US armed forces is now being run through by the Indian Army, after it acquired 24 of them last month. What’s special about the DRASH (Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter) shelters is their light weight and quick deployability.
All it takes to pitch a DRASH is to pull it out and stretch its frames. Raghunandan Menon, who’s company represents the manufacturer DHS International in India, says this brings significant advantages over inflatable tents, which are a write-off if they develop a leak.
Menon says the frames are made of an extremely light-weight and strong composite weaved fiber. The fabric, too, is patented material and the shelter can be sealed, air-conditioned and is capable of maintaining a positive air pressure in an NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) environment.
He says their shelters can save lives with their ease of use. In a demonstration, two of his team pitched a shelter in around half a minute. It can also be folded-up in a similar time-period. And then it goes into a bag.
The company has tied up with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) to put together these shelters at their facility near Mumbai, and is in the process of demonstrating them to other potential users, including the paramilitary forces, disaster management agencies, besides the armed forces. DHS and BEL will partner in bidding for tenders and the latter will also provide logistical support to DHS by training armed forces in using the shelters, as well as maintaining and repairing these shelters.
They’re confident of the Indian market. A company statement quoted Andy Cowling, Managing Director, DHS Systems International Ltd., as saying, “DHS is expecting a substantial 20% of its total revenue worldwide to come from the Indian defense sector.”