Motorists who do not want to fall victim to hijackings in South Africa have the option to add bulletproof protection to their vehicles, provided they can afford to pay over half a million rand.
One of the major companies that modify vehicles with armour for this purpose is Johannesburg-based Armormax, which has been in operation since 2008.
MyBroadband recently visited the company’s workshop and spoke to Managing Director Grant Anderson to learn more about the bullet-proofing process.
Anderson drew from his experience in the arms industry and previous roles in the luxury vehicles market to create the company.
Anderson told MyBroadband the company’s orders had trended upwards year-on-year in recent times, only slowing down during the COVID-19 lockdown due to the supply of armouring components.
However, the post-lockdown period has seen a steady increase in orders which Anderson said went hand-in-hand with trends observed by insurance companies that showed a big spike in crime, particularly a 20% jump in hijackings.
Anderson provided MyBroadband with an in-depth look at Armormax’s operations.
There are various global ballistics standards which indicate to what extent a piece of armour can provide protection against bullets.
Armormax categorises its protection levels according to the European standards.
The two specifications it offers is level B4 – for handguns up to the .44 Magnum – and level B6 – to defend against more serious firepower from high-powered rifles like the R5 and AK47.
Anderson said the threat of criminals using assault rifles in South Africa is becoming more prevalent, while developments in manufacturing also mean more advanced protection is needed.
“There are loads of stolen police and military assault rifles – either R4s or R5s – on the streets,” Anderson said.
In addition, AK47s are also being used by criminals in South Africa, he said.
Due to an easier manufacturing process, many of the rounds used in these weapons now come with steel cores as opposed to conventional lead cores, Anderson said.
As a result, Anderson’s team has had to develop an ultralight strike face to add to its standard level B6 body armour.
The table and image below show a breakdown of the types of ammunition that level B4 and B6 can defend against.
In other news – Prince Kaybee envies DJ Black Coffee for owning a private jet