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06 June 2016

Protection Needed

IndiKar Individual Karosseriebau GmbH (IndiKar), based in Wilkau-Hasslau (Saxony), forms part of renowned WELP Armouring, also consisting of the automotive businesses of Farmingtons Automotive GmbH and pgam advanced technologies Ltd.

Ronald Gerschewski is managing director of IndiKar Individual Karosseriebau GmbH since 2003 and managing director of Farmingtons Automotive GmbH since 2010. (All photos via WELP Armouring)

WELP Armouring sets high standards in engineering and quality management with its armouring solutions mainly for SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles). The group of companies is very innovative, using pre-tested, high-quality ballistic materials for armouring vehicles. These can be tailored solutions, according to the company, depending on what the customer is specifying for coping with the most demanding needs. Armoured SUVs, with their driving performance, interim trim, and external finish, on offer by WELP Armouring could shine for two main reasons: First, the customer can choose from an extensive range of vehicle options; second, they can be equipped with customised armour solutions on request.

The armoured Nissan F62-NPC700 is manageable even during extreme manoeuvres under realistic full-load conditions. Reinforced chassis and suspension were specially developed for the F62-NPC700 and are matched to an optimum to the axle load of this SUV. 

More than 200 employees serve as the group’s ‘core of experts’ in this specific field, with armouring solutions designed and developed to the highest civilian ballistic protection level. “Our vehicles are being constructed based on CAD technology”, said managing director Ronald Gerschewski, and they can be certified at an in-house firing range at IndiKar in Wilkau-Hasslau, which allows the company to efficiently test material combinations and manufacturing procedures during the entire process of engineering and manufacturing. It just means that when advanced protection is sought, ballistics experts can simulate any of these threats, as well as test material combinations (opaque and transparent materials) and production procedures.

Ronald Gerschewski said: “Since about 30 years, WELP Group successfully undertakes projects for the automotive industry.”

According to Gerschewski in a telephone conversation on 20 May 2016, WELP Armouring has ‘brainstormed’ the idea of an all-protected vehicle. He named the Toyota Land Cruiser 200; a company brochure also lists the Lexus LX, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and Nissan Y62, all of which are being supplied with certified anti-ballistic armouring. Not surprisingly, the manufacturer describes all of its armoured 4x4 vehicles as certified to the standards of the German Mellrichstadt Ballistic Laboratory (Beschussamt Mellrichstadt). According to Gerschewski, armoured components are being mounted – as done by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) – as bolt-in kits rather than welded armour. “Besides some mechanical advantages and an optimum corrosion protection, this procedure allows [the customer] to easily exchange components that can be delivered without any problems throughout the world.”

A press release published on 14 March 2016 reads that the Nissan Y62  SUV has been certified by the Mellrichstadt Ballistic Laboratory and tested and approved by the TÜV Hannover (Technischer Überwachungsverein; Technical Inspection Association) following rigorous driving tests with maximum load (5,300kg), including simple and double lane changes, sharp evasive manoeuvres, as well as extensive brake testing at different speeds in different scenarios and actuation forces. The SUV convinces through its “sophisticated interior design, dynamic driving performance, and protection against explosions and gunshots of various calibres”, the company said. The armour of the modularly constructed passenger cabin is entirely mounted by bolt-in kits, and the built-in armouring steel is refined by an industrial coating process, which permanently protects it against corrosion.
The bespoke Toyota Land Cruiser 200, meanwhile, is taking a cautious approach to breaking new ground, withstanding the range of blast threats from hand grenades, AP (Anti-Personnel) mines, and IED (Improvised Explosive Device) side blast. WELP Armouring speaks of an all-protected vehicle that can withstand the spectrum of ballistic threats from short and long weapons, as well as blast fragmentation threats mainly from hand grenades (DM51; HG85) and AP mines. Additionally, the vehicle’s standard fuel tank can be protected against blast threats, and its batteries can be protected against ballistic threats or upgraded to gel variants. The vehicle, which is developed and manufactured in line with internationally recognised OEM standards, has been certified by the Beschussamt Mellrichstadt to ballistic level VR6. Optional is an underfloor protection system against AP mine threats (DM31).

Small and short weapons, with calibres ranging from .357 Magnum to 7.62x54 R, and fixed firing devices up to 127mm and splinter 20mm Fragment Simulating Projectiles (FSPs) are being used in rigorous testing at the in-house firing range.

WELP Armouring showcases its expertise in vehicle armouring solutions at EUROSATORY 2016 in Villepinte from 13-17 June 2016 – Hall 6 / Booth #G704.