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The blast-proof KarabloK hostile vehicle mitigation system being tested against an explosive device

Is your hostile vehicle mitigation system blast protective too?

Hostile vehicle mitigation systems (HVMs) are becoming an increasingly common site on our streets as a host of public and private sector organisations ramp up anti-terrorist measures. But are they making the right choices?

Their focus has largely been on stopping trucks and cars that have recently been the favoured choice of weapon among terrorists, used to indiscriminately mow down innocent people.

There are a host of different HVMs to choose from – ranging from simple metal bollards to concrete or metal barriers – and some are more effective at stopping vehicles than others.

But, unlike the KarabloK hostile vehicle mitigation barrier, few of them are also blast-proof. And that could be leaving the door open to terrorists who have long-used truck and car bombs.

Why blast protective hostile vehicle mitigation barriers are needed

The Bishopsgate bombing in the City of London in 1993 saw the IRA detonate a powerful truck bomb. In 1995, a truck loaded with a home-made fertiliser bomb killed 168 people in Oklahoma City.

Truck bombs are also widely used in places where both temporary and permanent barriers have long been deployed to keep vehicles at bay. This two-phase attack seems the terrible, natural progression for terrorists: they first use the truck as a weapon and then blow it up, extending their deadly reach well beyond the barrier.

In May 2017 at least 150 people were killed in one such attack – a truck-bomb explosion in the highly fortified diplomatic quarter of Kabul, Afghanistan – after breaking through barriers and killing at least 12 police officers who tried to stop it.

It is clear that even if we succeed in stopping a vehicle attack on our streets, the threat is not yet removed.

A blast protective and bullet protective HVM system

So if you’re going to invest in hostile vehicle mitigation system, it makes sense to also consider the secondary threat, the explosive device the vehicle may contain.

Here, the precast concrete KarabloK unit comes into its own as they are not only designed for hostile vehicle mitigation but also as blast protective barriers.

They have been successfully independently tested against a variety of explosive devices and found to be effective against:
● 36kg of High Explosive
● Swingfire warhead
● 155 NATO warhead
● Milan warhead
● 30mm HE Rounds

These results prove KarabloK units to be compliant with elements of STANAG 2280 – NATO’s own standard for ballistic, blast and impact barriers.

As well as providing protection against explosive devices, the solid barriers also shield people against bullets.
The blast protective, crash protective and anti-ballistic properties of KarabloK are further enhanced when the barrier is built more than one unit high.

Other considerations in choosing a hostile vehicle mitigation system

With the genuine need to avoid turning our public spaces into fortresses, KarabloK has been designed with aesthetics in mind. The top of the central cavity – normally filled with ballast – can be planted up with shrubs or herbaceous plants to soften their visual impact. A range of factory finishes are available for the units themselves.

With no ground-fixing or foundations needed, they can not only be installed relatively cheaply but also quickly. And they are just as quickly taken down for storage and reuse, making them suitable for both temporary and permanent applications.

There is a lot to consider when choosing an HVM system. But to offer full protection to people in your location, it makes sense to choose a barrier that is blast protective too, like KarabloK.


See the blast tests on the KarabloK units

How KarabloK’s unique coupling system creates a blast-proof, crash-proof barrier


KarabloK Australia subsidiary launched

A new Australian company – KarabloK Australia Proprietary Ltd – has been set up to run the blast-proof, crash-proof security barrier business in Australia and other parts of Australasia.

The company, which is a subsidiary of the UK-based KarabloK Holdings, is located at Bondi Junction in New South Wales and will initially deal with the licensing of the KarabloK barrier.

The innovative precast concrete system, with patent pending in Australia, was launched at the World of Concrete trade show in Las Vegas.

It has applications in both the military and security sectors as an anti-terrorist barrier and also in industry to protect personnel and property from explosions.

It acts as both a hostile vehicle mitigation system – stopping a 7.5 tonne vehicle travelling at 50mph – and provides protection against blasts. Independent test results have enabled it to achieve IWA14-1:2013 Barrier standards and STANAG 2280.

Yet KarabloK needs no foundations or ground fixing. It is quick to deploy and also to remove and store until needed once more, making it suitable as either a permanent barrier or a temporary one to provide protection and security at major events.

The first KarabloK barrier to be installed has just been completed, protecting the entrance to a power station in the UK.

KarabloK director Gareth Neale said: “We all know the world is not a safe place. Everywhere is blighted by terrorism these days but the introduction of the crash-proof, blast-proof KarabloK security barrier can go a long way to making potential targets a lot safer.

“One of the deadliest methods of attack by terrorists in the last two years has been the use of trucks – with or without explosives – as weapons. And trucks are everywhere, easy to get hold of and drive so, sadly, terrorists intent on this mode of attack could strike anywhere. But KarabloK is designed to protect against this.

“We have already had enquiries from potential customers in Australia and are now looking for partnerships with Australian precast manufacturers. Once we’ve reached agreement with them we will grant them licences to manufacture and sell the KarabloK system in Australia.”

If you are interested in a licence and want to know more about Karablok Australia, or if you are looking for a blast-proof, crash-proof barrier, contact Gareth Neale on (+61) 1 800 600 007 or email him using the form on our Contact page.