March 12, 2008
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chooses the FNH USA FN 303 Less Lethal System to Maintain Border Security
McLean, Va. – FNH USA, a subsidiary of FN Herstal, SA, Belgium, won a contract worth $2.7 million from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol for purchase of the FN 303 Less Lethal System.
“We are confident the FN 303 will enhance the personal safety of border patrol agents and assist in the strengthening of our borders,” said Rick DeMilt, senior vice president of sales and marketing for FNH USA. “The Border Patrol testing of the FN 303 was comprehensive and exhaustive; it is gratifying to have won this contract.” This was a single source contract awarded to FNH USA, because the FN 303 is the only less lethal system with the range requirements specified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Border Patrol currently has over 1,000 FN 303’s for use in training and potential deployment.
It found the advantages of the FN 303 to be:
• Use of the FN 303 is less likely to cause serious bodily harm or permanent injury.
• The FN 303 offers the operator three use-of-force options: visual deterrence, area saturation and kinetic impact.
• The FN 303 has an effective range of 10 to 225 feet -- more than triple the range of the pepper ball launching system (PLS) currently in use.
• The FN 303 can also be used for area saturation with PAVA (pelargonic acid vanillylamide) powder from a distance of up to 300 feet.
• Because of the range of the FN 303, operators can increase their personal safety by aiming an accurate projectile at a target from a much greater distance.
Four projectiles are available for the FN 303 – indelible paint, washable paint, PAVA and clear impact.
FNH USA has provided detailed instructor training on the FN 303 to U.S. Customs Border Patrol personnel. “I would put our training program up against any other,“ added DeMilt. “We are meticulous about ensuring all instructors are thoroughly trained on the safe and effective use of the FN 303.”
The FN 303 will first be deployed in the San Diego, Yuma and Tucson sectors because operators in this area have experienced the greatest increase in assaults. A nationwide deployment will follow.
Chief David V. Aguilar of the U.S. Border Patrol has said, “The FN 303 is a less lethal device that equips the agent with an added option to address a confrontation and potentially diffuse it at a lower level of lethality than through the use of his or her firearm.”