Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

June 13, 2013

Defense start-up moves to N.H.

A Brickstone Square company has grown up and is moving out.

Halo Maritime Defense Systems, which rented office space in the complex for about five years, needed more space for its booming business. About a month ago, it moved into a new, 8,100-square-foot building on Puzzle Lane in Newton, N.H.

“We loved Andover,” said Paul Jensen, a Methuen resident who is CEO of the company. “We had offices in Brickstone Square, but we needed manufacturing space. That was the real driver. It’s for research and development, a place to fit parts, build prototypes, develop things. We wanted all our engineers under one roof.”

Jensen’s company has turned a product invented by a New Jersey man to knock down waves into a product that stops boats intent on harm.

“It’s all about controlling traffic on the water and how to do that,” he said. “Patrol boats and radar are not effective. You need physical security.”

The company custom-designs barriers that don’t tip over and are really good at stopping boats. They can be made in any shape or color, too, So far, Jensen said Halo has done six water tests, including one that had a 3-ton boat going 55 mph and smashing into one of the company’s barriers.

“It stopped in four-tenths of a second,” he said. “For over a decade, people have been trying to put barriers in the water, but they don’t survive. They flip over, get corroded and become a maintenance nightmare. Our (barrier) is plastic, it’s pliable, it doesn’t tip and in the event of rapid impact, transfers the energy from the boat into the water.”

Jensen said one of the reasons for the move to Newton is that the southern New Hampshire site is centrally located for the company’s engineers who live in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Plus, it is relatively close to the University of New Hampshire’s Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex in New Castle, N.H., he said. The company works with the research center for development and testing of new products.

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