Towson business gets $40 million Army contract Company will make nerve-gas monitors

Towson-based Environmental Technologies Group Inc. said yesterday that it has won a $40 million contract from the Army to manufacture 6,400 monitors that detect the presence of nerve, blistering and choking agents used in chemical warfare.

"These chemical-agent monitors are now being used in Desert Storm and will be used in any future military contacts the U.S. becomes engaged in," said John Spelman, president and chief executive of Environmental Technologies.


The company is one of many based in Maryland that have seen their products used in the Persian Gulf war. Other products include AAI Corp.'s Pioneer remote pilotless vehicle, Martin Marietta's LANTIRN system and Westinghouse Electronic Systems Group's AWACS airborne radar system.

Environmental Technologies, the Bendix Environmental Systems Division until a management-led buyout 2 1/2 years ago, is the only maker of the chemical-agent monitors, Mr. Spelman said.


"It was not a matter of if we would get this contract, it was a matter of when," Mr. Spelman said, adding Environmental Technologies has been waiting two years to receive the contract.

The $40 million Army contract is significant to the company, which has annual revenues of about $35 million, Mr. Spelman said.

The company has about 370 employees and will add 40 more as a result of the new contract, which will take about two years to complete, Mr. Spelman said.

Environmental Technologies also manufactures equipment that can determine the geographical characteristics of an area through electronic signals.