New ration fuel and cooker for British soldiers
British Soldiers will be using a unique waterproof and environmentally friendly fuel made in Wales to heat their rations and warm their drinks.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a four year contract to the UK-based survival equipment specialists, BCB International Ltd, for the supply of a new operational ration cooker and fuel. BCB’s ‘FireDragon’ fuel is an innovative solid biofuel made from ethanol.
The contract marks a move away from hexamine fuel which the MoD supplied to troops for over forty years for cooking in the field. Hexamine was a potentially dangerous and outdated substance which was made outside the UK.
As BCB’s Managing Director, Andrew Howell, explained the fuel had to meet the MoD’s robust and rigorous requirements: “The MoD were looking for a solution that amongst other things was lightweight, could boil 500ml of water in under 11 minutes, was easy to light and extinguish, burned cleanly and is easily transportable. Our solution which includes a new folding cooker and a fuel pack weighs less than 300g and the FireDragon fuel will boil 500ml of water in under 8 minutes.
“The ‘FireDragon’ fuel is good news for our troops. It will enable soldiers to cook their ready to eat meals with a safer and cleaner fuel. Our fuel is non-toxic, non-drip and made from 100% natural ingredients, including sustainably sourced ethanol. FireDragon is patented worldwide. It burns cleanly and leaves very little residue; thereby allowing soldiers to spend less time on cleaning their cooking equipment and more time on their vital operational roles. The fuel can be packed with rations which will help the MoD reduce its transport costs.”
“Wherever they operate, whether in driving rain, the freezing arctic or searing heat, the fuel will enable soldiers to heat their rations whenever required.”
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