A HIGH tech scanner firm has won a £700,000 contract to supply the US Defence Department.

Kromek, based at NetPark in Sedgefield, County Durham is to develop an advanced portable radiation detection system.

The firm hopes that the 12 month contract will lead to a longer term arrangement.

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Arnab Basu, the Kromek chief executive, said, "Kromek is delighted to receive this award from DARPA (US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), which closely follows recent awards from other areas of the US Government and is further recognition of the advances Kromek's detector technology platforms are making into growing global markets."

As well as its contracts in the nuclear sector Kromek supplies specialist scanners to the medical and security industries.

The business was started at Durham University in 2003 and it now employs about 100 staff across its sites in the North-East and the US.