A TECHNOLOGY firm says the US military’s focus on fighting extremism can be a catalyst for greater successes after securing a sextet of contracts worth in excess of £2.5m.

Kromek is working with the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Bosses say the two-year agreement is worth around £1.3m and will see US forces use Kromek’s radiation detectors to tackle radicalism.

It comes just weeks after the firm told The Northern Echo it was closing in on further US work.

The firm already has a near £5m agreement with DARPA, an agency of the US Department of Defense, to become the sole supplier of thousands of personal radiation detectors that help identify acts of terrorism, such as a ‘dirty bomb’.

However, Dr Arnab Basu, chief executive, said the contracts were further proof that the company, which started as a two-man business at Durham University’s physics department, was gaining a strong reputation in the marketplace.

Beginning by referring to its new US deal, he said: “The board believes this is another major opportunity to adapt our technology base and supply into the US military and security agencies.

“We are delighted to demonstrate progress in all our business segments gaining new customers as well as deepening our relationship with existing customers.”

The business has also signed a £353,000 contract with the UK’s Ministry of Defence to supply nuclear radiation detection products.

That deal, alongside its US agreement, is part of a number of orders for Sedgefield-based Kromek, which includes an Asian airport group taking examples of the company’s bottle scanners and an existing health customer using its gamma radiation detectors.

They also come after Dr Basu told The Northern Echo Kromek, which operates out of County Durham’s NetPark, was close to further international work, revealing its DARPA deal was the “tip of the iceberg.”

He added: “It is a great thing a company in the North-East employing just over 100 people has been chosen by the US to supply this technology for dirty bombs.

“3,500 units of the radiation detectors have already been shipped to DARPA, with the remainder of the contract to be delivered before the end of the year.

“Once the system has been chosen and approved, it goes to agencies, such as the US Department of Homeland Security, who then deploy them.

“That is going on and we are in discussions with the US and other countries who are looking at these systems.

“The 12,000 is just the tip of the iceberg.

“We would expect to supply hundreds of thousands over the next few years.”

Kromek is best known for pioneering an airport scanner that can identify liquids in bottles, including explosives, alcohol and narcotics, without opening them, in less than 20 seconds.

Its latest results, for the year to April 30, showed product sales had made up more than half of total revenues for the first time, while a contract haul of more than £23m represented the largest value of deals Kromek had ever secured in a 12-month period.