Stopping the threat: Luca Giubilato
Terrorists using vehicles to drive into crowds of pedestrians has become an all-too-common phenomenon in recent years. Preventing them from carrying out such attacks is the aim of a new barrier system from EPS
The Italian company’s Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) system consists of a series of hexagonal bases, each holding a large vertical pillar. The system is made of steel throughout, with the individual bases able to be connected with steel pins to create a customised barrier.
The company says that the shape of the HVM was inspired by the Giant’s Causeway, a geological phenomenon on the coast of Northern Ireland, which consists of a series of interlocking basalt columns.
The company has chosen Intertraffic for the first showing of the new system. Engineer Luca Giubilato from EPS’s research and development team said that tests had shown the system capable of withstanding the impact of a 3.5-tonne truck being driven at it at 48km/h.
The basic weight of each unit is 281kg, but the strength and rigidity of the system can be further increased by slotting a solid steel weight inside each of the vertical pillars. That boosts the weight to 700kg.
The system is designed so that if an attacker’s vehicle rides up over the first column, it will slump on top of the pillars, rather than clearing them.
The individual modules are installed and removed using a hydraulic crane.
EPS has taken out a patent on the system, which has already aroused interest from potential customers in Switzerland and Norway, said Giubilato.