Specialized armored product manufacturer SVI Engineering has unveiled a new kit for trucks in South Africa, developed in response to a surge in truck hijacking incidents across the country.
SVI said it is increasingly being approached by customers looking locally for ways to reduce the risk of hijacking and ultimately protect their drivers. It also notes a growing demand from courier companies looking for a method to protect cargo.
The South African Police’s most recent crime statistics for the second quarter of 2022 show that the number of reported truck hijackings across the country has increased by almost 25% year-on-year and by more than 150% compared to the same period in 2020.
The kit – the B6 Stopgun V2.0 – is for the Hino 500 series trucks, which are often used to transport goods around the country. It is based on the same kit already available for bakkies such as the Toyota Hilux, Toyota Land Cruiser 79, Ford Ranger and Nissan Navara.
However, SVI said it includes a number of model-specific improvements that make it suitable for a truck cab.
The kit provides occupants with B6 protection against assault rifles, including AK47 and R1. The package eschews the commonly used double door system in favor of unobtrusively integrated door armor, along with improved door hinges to handle the extra mass of the various armor components.
In addition, the Hino 500 set gets secondary latch door locks and an improved cab tilt mechanism to ensure unimpeded access to the powertrain for maintenance requirements. In addition, the nose guard is hidden behind the vehicle’s standard grille.
It uses a split windshield, while flat ballistic glass is fitted to each window frame to allow for a hassle-free replacement if damage is sustained during an attack.
“In addition to the integrated door armor mentioned earlier, all pillars, all glass and part of the firewall will receive B6 bulletproof protection. The roof is also armored, while the area under the floor is protected by custom-made armored steel plates,” said SVI.
SVI said production of the kits is expected to start in January 2023, with a production time of two months. Orders for the kits are now open. The product costs R544,779, it said.
Read: What the official crime statistics don’t tell you about hijackings in South Africa