Soldiers from many Armed Forces have been using solid blocks of hexamine fuel to cook their rations and boil their drinks in the field.
Cardiff, UK -(AmmoLand.com)- Whilst the current generation of hexamine blocks used by the military offer an air transportable option, their overall quality falls short of what should be expected of modern military-grade products.
Problems with hexamine blocks include variable burning performance, formation of toxic gases when used which are harmful if ingested, non-environmentally friendly and taint the taste of the food being cooked.
More and more Armies are actively evaluating the feasibility of alternative solid fuels which can match, if not exceed the performance of hexamine.
The military require the following performance standards from a ration cooker fuel:
- Easy to light and extinguish
- Quick Boil
- Clean burn
- Compatible with standard issue mess tin and standard issue metal mug
- Heat Operational Rations Pouches
- Transportable as a single unit on an individual soldier or in bulk by land, sea and air.
The British military are the first to have gotten out of the starting blocks. 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.
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 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.”
Blue Ridge Knives, Inc. and Fox Outdoor are BCB’s wholesaler suppliers in the USA:
Members of the public in the USA can buy direct from the Family Storehouse: