So, you’re thinking of armouring your vehicle but are wondering about the key differences between discreet (or concealed) armour and the non-discreet alternative? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s start with the former. Discreet armour is exactly as the name suggests: it is not easily identifiable by onlookers. For the record, SVI Engineering offers two common civilian discreet armouring levels: B4 (which provides protection against handguns, up to .44 Magnum) and B6 (offering protection against assault rifles, including AK47 and R1).
B4 discreet armour is the typical anti-hijack solution that also offers protection against brick-throwing and other hand-held projectiles. The package consists of 18-21 mm armoured glass in combination with Kevlar sheets for the body. This is effectively the most discreet option as – from the outside – the vehicle looks virtually as it did when it left the factory.
Meanwhile, B6 discreet is the highest level of civilian protection allowed without a special permit. This comprehensive protection package – which SVI prefers to apply to ladder-frame rather than unibody vehicles due to the extra weight of the components – comprises 38 mm armoured glass (curved to OEM spec) and special armoured steel plates precisely cut and bonded to the sheetmetal areas. As with B4 discreet, B6 discreet armour includes full firewall covering (with the dashboard temporarily removed for fitment).
Great care is taken to ensure the general appearance of the vehicle remains mostly similar (inside and out) to that of a standard vehicle.
By contrast, SVI Engineering’s B6 Stopgun V2.0 package – which is popular among security companies requiring armoured bakkies – is a non-discreet alternative, making it a far more cost-effective option.
Though the same protection is offered, the somewhat more conspicuous Stopgun V2.0 kit uses a flat (as opposed to curved) windscreen split into two halves. The side windows, meanwhile, are fixed in place in special frames and ship standard with gunports. This set-up allows quick and cost-effective replacement of damaged glass after an attack.
Though a cumbersome double-door system was once the standard for this sort of security armour, the Stopgun V2.0 package features an upgrade to integrated door armour. That said, all steel components added to the cabin are upholstered in industrial-grade carpet.
In addition, while discreet armour includes full firewall protection, the Stopgun V2.0 package receives partial covering (the dashboard is not removed) via plates installed from the top (firewall), fenders and in the back of the front wheel arches.
Using level B6 armour as an example, let’s have a quick look at the key points in table form…
|B6 discreet armour||B6 non-discreet armour|
|Target market||Civilian (the ultimate discreet protection)||Security, mining, valuables in transit|
|Windscreen||38 mm curved glass||38 mm flat glass, split|
|Side windows||38 mm glass in existing frames||38 mm fixed glass in special frames|
|Gunports||No||Yes (optional delete)|
|Driver’s window operation||Up to 150 mm (vehicle dependent)||Fixed|
|Cabin trim||Similar to OEM spec||Steel components upholstered in industrial-grade carpet|
|Build time||Three months||Four weeks|