KWESST Micro Systems (TSXV:KWE) is a technology company which develops and commercializes breakthrough next generation tactical systems that meet the requirements of security forces and personal defense for overmatch capability against adversaries. The key market segments and solutions addressed by KWESST technologies are:
- Breakthrough technology in non-lethal systems with broad application, including law enforcement and personal defence.
- Modernized digitization of tactical forces for shared situational awareness and targeting.
- Counter measures against threats such as drones, lasers and electronic detection.
Low Energy Cartridge System (LEC)
The market for non-lethal products is a recurring multi-billion-dollar opportunity. Customers continue to seek better solutions as many legacy systems can be lethal, and frequently are unreliable. Thousands of fatalities have been recorded from existing cartridge-bases systems, including conducted energy devices such as Taser. Other legacy products that are “less” lethal typically fire from air guns, which are inherently unreliable as they are affected by ambient temperature and involve high maintenance including as a result of air seals and “O” rings drying out and bursting, causing catastrophic failures. Air-based systems also entail a long logistics tail of compressors, air tanks and spare parts.
The LEC systems solves these problems with the proven reliability of a cartridge-based system in a low-cost firing platform that fires only LEC cartridges. The firing platforms are offered in various patterns that replicate the look of a real firearm, or avoid the appearance of a firearm altogether, at the user’s choice. The proprietary LEC cartridge automatically stabilizes the projectile for accuracy and distance, with an energetic actuator that controls velocity and muzzle energy well below lethal levels, and with no need for gunpowder or conventional propellant. The system’s soft frangible projectiles come with various payloads, including colored marking agent, inert powder or a safe but powerful irritant powder that temporarily incapacitates subjects.
The table below shows why LEC is the best choice among current non-lethal weapons.
LEC is an inexpensive dedicated firing platform that fires only LEC cartridges. These are offered in various patterns that replicate the look of a real firearm, or avoid the appearance of a firearm altogether, at the user’s choice.
LEC’s soft frangible projectiles come with various payloads, including colored marking agents, inert powder, or a safe but powerful irritant powder that temporarily incapacitates subjects.
LEC has two provisional patents and is the world’s first cartridge-based non-lethal firing system. It is a breakthrough over existing air-based systems with a projectile of high fps velocity, which is considered lethal. LEC is made with a non-lethal low energy cartridge case that generates spin to a projectile reducing velocities and muzzle energy below the lethal threshold of 400 feet per second (fps). This is done with no need for gunpowder or conventional propellant.
Meanwhile, tasers and maces are for close encounters increasing the probability of disarmament by assailants. Tasers, carried by some 400,000 American patrol officers, are also given an effectiveness rating of only 57.1 percent by the Los Angeles Police Department.
KWESST’s non-lethal Low Energy Cartridge (LEC) product line will culminate with an official commercial launch at the 2022 SHOT Show® in Las Vegas, January 18 – 21.
The LEC system is the world’s first cartridge-based non-lethal firing system with universal application across four market segments that currently use a variety of dated “non-lethal” or “less-lethal” solutions. These segments are (i) public order and security (riots and control of dangerous subjects), (ii) military and law enforcement training (realistic force-on-force training), (iii) personal defence (home, car, boat, RV, camping, hiking), and (iv) high-action gaming.
KWESST is prioritizing the global self-defence and the public order and security markets, where there exist ready channel partners, including large e-marketplaces for tactical products and sophisticated social media campaigns, hence avoiding the expense and time to build out an internal sales force. These markets represent near-term opportunities with short selling cycles.
Modernized digitization of tactical forces for shared situational awareness and targeting
Tactical Awareness and Situational Control System “TASCS”
KWESST Micro Systems’ Tactical Awareness and Situational Control System (TASCS) is a software package that can be integrated or added on to small weapons systems commonly carried by soldiers to enable precise networked surveillance and targeting on a wide range of technical platforms. The technology has the potential to provide targets beyond traditional line-of-sight targeting systems, proving the potential for soldiers to identify targets they cannot see directly. KWESST Micro Systems’s TASCS software can be used as an add-on for drones and counter-drone original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as well.
Using TASCS, operators have the capability to “mark” areas or persons of interest which can then be shared with other reconnaissance technology such as drones or scoping imagery to confirm the areas or persons of interest. In December of 2019, KWESST Micro Systems signed a development contract to incorporate TASCS into a networked soldier Heads Up Display (HUD) system.
The company completed the second of two phases in October 2020 for a US military customer, which showed that its TASCS IFM had better accuracy and quicker response times on indirect fire systems, including mortars, improving soldier survivability and operational effectiveness.
The company completed the second of three phases of its Tactical Awareness and Situational Control System (TASCS) and Integrated Fires Module (IFM) for a US military customer. The product is an App and snap-on weapon adaptor that enables real-time streaming of situational awareness data of any kind from any source, including drones, direct to smart display devices and operational assets, for a common operating picture and networked engagement. This phase demonstrated that KWESST’s TASCS IFM had greater accuracy and faster response times on indirect fire systems like mortars, improving soldier survivability and operational effectiveness.
On the heels of this, KWESST was upgraded to “USA Partner” for SAMSUNG Electronics America, which will help the company deploy its SAMSUNG S20TE smartphone in its production version of the TASCS in addition to its IFM for networked targeting on soldiers’ weapons.
Counter measures against threats such as drones, lasers and electronic detection.
Drone Threat & Counter Solution – GreyGhostTM
KWESST Micro Systems’ patented drone threat and counter-drone solution DroneBullet ™ is capable of autonomously tracking and neutralizing an enemy drone from any detection source. The technology can be applied as an add-on to existing drone and counter-drone OEMs.
KWESST Micro Systems’ counter-drone technology DroneBullet is a kinetic and integrated counter-drone system capable of launching a miniature ground-to-air missile designed to intercept enemy drones or aerial vehicles.
Electronic decoy – PhantomTM
PhantomTM is an electronic battlefield decoy system to mask the electromagnetic signature of friendly forces with decoy signatures at false locations to deceive and confuse adversaries.
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Thanks to a Notice of Allowance issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in October 2020 for the company’s patent application covering its PhantomTM electronic battlefield decoy, the company is one step closer to achieving its goal.
The platform addresses the needs required for miniaturized electronic decoys that soldiers or drones can deploy in contested areas of operation in order to prevent the opposition from locating NATO forces.
- Aiming to become a leading developer of software and equipment for military and security uses
- KWESST announced the official commercial launch of its Low Energy Cartridge System (LEC) technology at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas in January 2022
- KWESST qualified for up to $1.5M in project funding in support of the further development and productization of its TASCS IFM system, Phantom electronic decoy system and counter-drone system.
- TASCS software package can be integrated into existing small weapons systems
- Has completed the second of three phases for its TASCS and IFM for a US military customer
- GreyGhost technology is capable of identifying an enemy drone and sending a miniature surface-to-air missile in order to mitigate the threat
- Received Notice of Allowance from the USPTO for its PhantomTM electronic battlefield decoy system
- Upgraded to “USA Partner” with SAMSUNG Electronics America, which will allow the company to employ its SAMSUNG S20TE smartphone in its production version of the TASCS in addition to its IFM for networked targeting on soldiers’ weapons
- Management team has a long track record of success, including experience in the global defense and security market
- The company entered into a formal share purchase agreement to acquire Police Ordnance Company Inc. ("POC") located in Bowmanville, Ontario, with ancillary operations in Florida.
- The company acquired Police Ordnance Company Inc. and its ARWEN less-lethal product line.
- KWESST reported a confirmed strong interest in non-lethal PARA OPS technology and products after the company displayed and demonstrated its non-lethal products for personal defense during the 2022 SHOT Show, held January 18-21 in Las Vegas.
Jeff MacLeod — Founder, President, CEO and Board Member
Former Canadian RCEME officer, served as System Engineer for three Major Army Crown Projects before moving to the private sector. Nineteen years experience as General Manager of Diemaco / Colt Canada. Expert in the Small Arms and Soldier Systems field as well as all aspects of manufacturing. Formed KWESST Micro Systems in 2017 to pursue opportunities in the networking and digitization of legacy and future weapons systems.
David Luxton — Executive Chairman
Serial entrepreneur in defence and security industry. Former Canadian infantry officer and senior official with the Canadian and British governments before leading the global build-out of successive defence and security companies. Founded Simunition, the world leader in simulated munitions for close-quarters’ combat training of military and police. Led the build-out of Allen Vanguard from $5M to $300M, where he remains Chairman. Former Executive Chairman of United Tactical Systems.
John McCoach — Director
John McCoach retired from full-time employment in 2016. At that time he was President, TSX Venture Exchange; a role he held for seven years. John is a director of the Capital Markets Authority Implementation Organization. CMAIO is tasked by The Government of Canada, six provinces and one territory to create a pan Canadian securities commission. He is also the Lead Director, Liberty Defense Holding Ltd. John was a director, and Interim CEO, of Nautilus Minerals Inc. John is also a director of the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue.
Steven Archambault, CPA, CA — Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Archambault began his career as a CPA, CA with Ernst & Young LLP, followed by senior finance positions at AXIS Capital, a global insurer and reinsurer, and more recently had CFO roles with small cap public Canadian companies listed on the TSX-V and CSE in media broadcasting technology and health & wellness industries.
Paul Fortin — Director
Paul has held senior business development positions within two of Canada’s largest law firms – Gowlings WLG and more recently Borden Ladner Gervais LLP where he was responsible for the firm’s defence and security as well as international expansion strategies which encompassed Asia Pacific, United Kingdom, and the United States. His network includes exceptionally strong ties to the defence community and diplomatic defense attaché network, notably with the USA (Air Force, Army, Navy, USMC), Five Eyes, Korea, Ukraine, Israel, NATO, and Middle Eastern (Gulf States).
Paul Mangano — Director
Paul is a 34-year veteran of the high technology sector. He has an MBA in High Technology from Northeastern University and a BA in Economics from Harvard. In 2015, he established Surculus Advisors, a management consulting firm providing advice, leadership, to SME companies in the high-tech sector including aerospace and defence. Prior to forming Surculus Advisors, Paul was a Division President at L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL). Paul worked as SVP, Business Development at VT Griffin, and President & COO of Proterion Corporation.
Elisabeth Preston — Director
Elisabeth Preston is Chief Legal Counsel for a top tier international defence company with widespread global operations. She is an international business and trade lawyer, with significant transactional experience in many jurisdictions. Her experience spans more than thirty years advising companies as an executive in areas relating to governance, cross-border marketing, strategic relationships, major commercial transactions and financings to fund growth.
Warren Downing — Director of Innovation
Fifteen years in the Royal Australian Air Force. Transitioned to an industry where he has built upon his military experience with 20 + years of Systems Engineering and Program Management with Defense and communications companies such as CAE Inc, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, DRS Technologies and Colt Canada.
Jeffrey M. Dunn — Senior Advisor
Mr. Dunn’s career includes being Chief Operating Officer for ARTEMIS, Inc., the Naval Service Lead for Rapid Prototyping at Booz Allen Hamilton, and Director Strategic Development at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. He is the recipient of several medals and awards during a twenty-year career as a U.S. Marine AV-88 Harrier pilot and mission commander.
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