Minefields Continue to present a Major Obstacle in the War in Ukraine

If anything can be learnt from the war in Ukraine it is the future of warfare is mainly focussed on remote drone attacks, underlining the need for air superiority.

Despite the amount of armoured vehicles in use on both sides, and the devastating fire power which can be wrought by tanks, artillery and ships batteries combined, forces on both sides continue to be successful in using drones for top down attack on troops and armour.  From much of the news coverage, you would think that modern warfare has forgotten about long-term strategies and the dangers of ground attack.

However, both sides continue to use trenches and minefields to great effect, much as they were used in World War I - mainly for protection of their exisitng positions on or near to the front line.

To shift the offense-defense balance in its favor, Russia has designed one of the largest defensive systems in Europe since World War II," a new Center for Strategic and International Studies report said, noting that the Russian lines in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast are the "most extensively fortified."

Russian foces appear to have effectively used electronic warfare (EW) systems, air support, and landmines against Ukrainian forces. As well as having severely interfered with Ukrainian command and control signals, GPS-enabled devices, UAV controls, CNN additionally reported that an anonymous US official said that Russian landmines degraded Ukrainian armored vehicles.

Russian doctrine for a defending motorized rifle battalion calls for a first echelon of troops to repel or slow attacking forces with minefields, fortifications, and strongpoints, with a second echelon of forces counterattacking against an enemy breakthrough and thisappeared to work successfully for the Russian troops southwest of Orikhiv during the attacks in early June. Russian forces apparently operated in this fashion in this sector – Ukrainian forces penetrated the initial defensive lines; Russian forces pulled back to a second line of fortifications; and Russian reserves subsequently counterattacked to retake the initial line of defenses.

The use of minefields was particularly effective, as Open-source reporting confirms the Ukrainians lost one Leopard 2A6 from their 33rd Mechanized Brigade, possibly nine M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles from their 47th Assault Brigade, and one BMR-2 mine-clearing vehicle in a failed attempt to breach a minefield south of Mala Tokmachka on June 8, 2023.

Indeed, according to La Monde, the Russians have landmined Ukrainian territory at an unprecedented rate, making it one of the largest minefields in the world. It's estimated that approximately 170,000 square kilometers are now covered with anti-tank or anti-personnel landmines, which is about the size of Florida, or almost six times the surface area of Belgium, although it is estimated that some of these will have been laid by the Ukrainian forces.   This resulted in another failed attempt on 11th June to breach a minefield where three of Finland's six Leopard 2R mine-clearing machines supplied to Ukraine were lost.

Whilst it is appreciated that much of the technology supplied by Western forces to the Ukraine is not the latest all-singing, all-dancing version of the vehicles, it suggests that a different approach is required to deal with breaches of minefields and this is where Advanced Blast & Ballistic Systems' Armored Vehicle Blast Protection System can come to the fore, enabling armies to redefine tactics, as well as adding additional protection against underbelly mine blasts and IEDs.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in Non-Penetrated Armored Vehicles

ABBS has joined forces with leading experts in the field of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to investigate the various causes of TBI inside armored vehicles subject to a mine blast, even where the armor protects the vehicle itself and the impact of the blast does not penetrate the hull.


The US Department of Defense (DoD) has been tracking worldwide incidence of TBI in service men and women since 2000; over this period, DoD recorded 444,328 cases of TBI to August 2021, with a further 9,158 subsequent cases recorded in the first half of 2022.

Service members and Veterans are also at risk of brain injury from explosions experienced during combat or training exercises.  Even mild TBI cases can lead to serious long-term effects on thinking ability, memory, mood, and focus, along with physical symptoms.  While most people with mild TBI have symptoms that resolve within hours, days, or weeks, a minority may experience persistent symptoms that last for several months or longer.

Treatment typically includes a mix of cognitive, physical, speech, and occupational therapy, along with medication to control specific symptoms such as headaches or anxiety. More than 185,000 Veterans who use VA health care have been diagnosed with at least one TBI.  Whilst the majority of those TBIs were classified as mild, conditions stemming from TBI can range from headaches, irritability, and sleep disorders to memory problems, slower thinking, and depression.  These ailments can often become long-term health problems with detriment to service members’ health, social and family relationships and operational performance, and longer-term symptoms can go on to impair veterans’ employment, social relationships, and reintegration into the community.

Unfortunately, more than half of persons with TBI see a deterioration in their condition, even death, with five years of their injury diagnosis. Soldiers and occupants of vehicles subjected to underbelly blasts (but not penetrated) often still suffer TBI as a result of the blast.

Currently there is no understanding of the primary cause or causes of this form of TBI. Most research on blast threats to vehicles has focused on the obvious physical threats to the occupants which has resulted in the development of vehicles that can sustain blasts from large Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). But there have not been any detailed studies examining the more subtle threats inside vehicles after an explosion. Such subtle threats are often masked by the huge explosive forces, and in fact, current sensors ignore these threats as “background noise”.

Advanced Blast & Ballistic Systems Limited have therefore teamed up with leading TBI specialists to propose a research project to the DoD which aims to determine the primary cause(s) of TBI in a vehicle using computer simulations, scaled models, and experimental testing, with full scale testing and biological analysis to form part of the later stages of the research.

It is already accepted that the acceleration caused by an underbelly mine blast / IED can cause mild TBIs; and ASST has access to unique technologies which can eliminate that threat entirely. However, there are other factors which appear to be potential causes, and the interaction of those factors and how to best mitigate their impact is the key part of this project.

Part of this project will include the design of sensors that can accurately measure the pressure, noise, low frequency noise, and vibration inside the vehicle in order to determine the causes of TBI from un-penetrating explosive events and determine the reduction made when mitigation techniques are incorporated.

ABBS technologies will enable each of the potential causes of TBI to be isolated in order to determine their impact on TBI as part of this project.  They will do this by mitigating against each of the identified potential causes.

As a result, some or all of the ABBS technologies may then be mandated as a preventative measure on future armoured vehicles


Launch of Wefunder Pitch for Active Safety System Technologies Inc. (ASST)

Advanced Blast & Ballistic Systems Limited has now launched a Wefunder pitch for people to indicate their interest in investing in our new US operation, Active Safety System Technologies Inc. (ASST).  The link is:


We are using the ‘Testing the Waters’ facility on Wefunder in order to gauge the level of interest before setting the target raise for the round, which has to be declared on the Form C for the SEC. It is obligatory to add the following statement with this preliminary indicative ‘offer’:

“We are ‘testing the waters’ to gauge investor interest in an offering under Regulation Crowdfunding. No money or other consideration is being solicited. If sent, it will not be accepted. No offer to buy securities will be accepted. No part of the purchase price will be received until a Form C is filed and only through Wefunder’s platform. Any indication of interest involves no obligation or commitment of any kind.”

The purpose of setting up ASST is to provide a new vehicle in the USA to market both the armoured vehicle and the eVTOL technologies to the US and Canadian markets under the same company, hence the generic technology-orientated name rather than the previous Advanced Blast & Ballistic Systems LLC which has now been closed.

Given that the US provides over 50% of the global market for both our armoured vehicle and eVTOL products we anticipate that interest from major global players in a buy-in or buy-out deal will either focus on ASST or stimulate interest in a full ABBS buy-out in due course, hence our focus now on developing the activities in the USA, which this planned funding round will support.

New Chairman – Brigadier (Ret’d) Ian Cameron-Mowat

Firstly many thanks to David Staveley who has stepped down from the ABBS Chairman role last week and resigned as Director for personal reasons, having been involved with ABBS since about 2010. Very fortuitously, the previous week we attended the Future Armoured Vehicle Survivability (FAVS) Conference in London and invited the Chairman of the conference, Brigadier (Ret’d) Ian Cameron-Mowat to act as consultant for us, so this was very rapidly up-graded to an invitation to act as Chairman for both the ABBS and the ASST Boards, which I am delighted to say he has accepted. Ian has vast experience of introducing new technology to the UK Army, including active protection systems, and has many contacts in the UK, USA and Europe that will be invaluable to us in the new phase of market development we have recently entered.

Amoured Vehicle Products

It may be the case that the recently stated US Army intention to find solutions to the threat from large IEDs, hence creating substantial ‘user-pull’ for the first time, has resulted in a specific approach to us from a major European defence industry player, with which discussions are scheduled to begin in January 2022.

If you look through the pitch on Wefunder you will see that there have been some exciting developments over the course of even the last few days.

  1. DARPA Tactical Technology Office (TTO) have issued a call for new technologies, titled “Redefining Possible”, which is exactly what our VGAM™ technology does in terms of protecting against large IED threats. The DARPA call specifically refers to ground mobility being critical to avoiding fatal attacks. We are now coordinating our approach to DARPA and the Pentagon Rapid Reaction Technology Office with our US Army CRADA manager to try to get a fully coordinated approach to funding the full development and certification of our VGAM technology. We also understand that the requirements team for a new US army vehicle has requested information on the funding and timescale required to get the VGAM system into production, so several pieces of the jigsaw puzzle appear to be coming together.So we are now planning a new campaign to promote the game-changing upgrade in tactical mobility that adding a fleet of highly IED-resistant vehicles fitted with the VGAM system would bring, meeting the stated mobility improvement objectives of both the DARPA TTO and the US Army, and get the message to the key high-level requirements personnel in the US, UK, and NATO military.
  2. Following a meeting at the recent FAVS Conference in London we have had an approach from a major player with a global footprint and a strong position in armoured vehicle protection systems. Our VGAM™ system would be an excellent fit with their product range. This long-awaited development could be a very interesting, and we plan formal discussions to commence in early 2022.
  3. The Technology Discovery Event that was scheduled for 4th November 2021 was postponed due to the Covid situation in the USA. It has not been re-scheduled yet, but in view of the long list of activities outlined above it may be a blessing in disguise as we will probably be very busy getting new projects under way early next year.
  4. ABBS is currently starting an extensive marketing campaign for the carbon fibre reinforced belly plate which has been developed over the past 18 months both under a DSTL/DASA contract and the Innovate UK funded project, with some of our own funding thrown in as well. The result is that we have demonstrated the possibility of dealing with a 4kg mine under a Toyota Hilux and protecting the occupants from serious injury, using blast seats from our Israeli supplier to protect against spinal injuries from the Global Acceleration. The design will also take 6kg without being penetrated, which is way beyond any previous known solution for such a light civilian vehicle as the Hilux.
  5. We are now proposing an extended development project with DSTL/DASA which would provide data on potential weight saving/improved peak deformation performance for UK military vehicles, where a 10% weight reduction would be regarded as ‘very interesting’. Our Hilux work suggests that up to a 30% weight reduction might be achieved, so if this proves correct we will have a very interesting product indeed, and it may be the case that the graphene technology could provide an additional potential benefit.
  6. The agreement with Graphene Composites to explore the potential benefits of incorporating graphene technology into the ABBS products is now in place and specific options are being discussed.

Following several years of slow-paced evaluation of ABBS’s VGAM technology by the US Army (due to their focus on RPG/missile interception and adoption of Rafael’s Trophy system) it seems likely that we will see the pace pick up; watch this space.

eVTOL Products

We are also beginning to make in-roads with our Safety Eco-System for eVTOL Aircraft. Manufacturers have begun to accept the need for stroking crashworthy seats and we have received the backing of two leading European eVTOL companies and a major flight control system supplier in our latest R&D proposal bid.

  1. Following on-site testing with a local operation developing autonomous vehicle sensor/control technology we have another new and important development in view for the eVTOL aircraft, especially when operating in the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) role.Whenever an emergency occurs in flight requiring an immediate emergency landing (such as a serious bird strike, which is going to be a big issue for these aircraft in the UAM role, or a battery fire) the first requirement for the pilot is to find an emergency landing site. The concept for our system is to use the autonomous road vehicle technology to look down from the eVTOL and continuously monitor potential emergency landing sites under the flight path.Running this idea past several major eVTOL industry players (designers, flight control system suppliers, and regulators) all were unanimous in endorsing the concept both designers and flight control system suppliers wanting to be involved in the project in an advisory capacity and keeping a view on progress and potentially incorporating the system into their aircraft. This is an excellent response and we have applied for a £0.75m collaborative R&D grant from Innovate UK to develop the technology. With the response we have from both industry players and aviation regulators, who all noted that the system will be essential when eVTOL’s become fully autonomous (i.e. flying without a pilot) we will be very disappointed if this grant application is not accepted.
  2. Furthermore, at the Future Armoured Vehicle Survivability Conference two weeks ago it was stated that Denial of Service attacks are a very serious issue and many systems in armoured vehicles, not just location, rely on the GPS signal, which is very easy to disrupt or spoof. The system described above for the eVTOLs is very easily adaptable to provide a solution by matching the current view from above the vehicle with previously available views. The concept was run past the DSTL expert who raised the issue at the conference, who readily acknowledged that there was no reason this would not work to provide the missing location/navigation data. Hence we are also applying to DSTL/DASA for an R&D grant, to develop this system for them.
  3. Our Israeli partner in the development of crashworthy seats for the eVTOL aircraft is close to launching them in the market having nearly completed the design work, and they have asked us to start to push the product to such as Vertical Aerospace in the UK and Volocopter in Germany, and we will do the same in the USA through ASR.We have also established an influential position in the EUROCAE/EASA activity designed to provide a new standard for crashworthy seats for eVTOLs. We instigated the formation of this Working Group at EUROCAE but a while ago the work was delegated to a US-based SAE Aircraft Seat committee which was already working on the issue. After a few meetings the Chairman decided that defining a new standard for stroking crashworthy/Energy Absorbing (EA) seats was too complex to define, so they would delete that element from the new draft standard.We believe that this would mean that a great opportunity to improve occupant safety in eVTOLs was going to be missed, with potentially serious consequences for the industry in the long term. This was also the opinion of a rotorcraft seat expert at Bell in Canada, who stated that currently the stroking seats often used in helicopters did not protect their occupants from spinal injuries. Currently stroking seats only work for mid-range occupant weights, with children, light people, and heavy people not being protected at all.Given the position of the regulators and the divergent priorities of the eVTOL designers it will be impossible to get a new stroking seat standard adopted any time soon, but we volunteered to develop a proposal for an Aerospace Recommended Practice (ARP) and were given free rein by the committee Chairman to pursue an industry consensus on the issue. So we are now leading what is effectively a sub-committee with support from the Bell Canada seat expert and our Israeli seat supplier, plus Safran Seats (a current major supplier to the industry).

    Now while the eVTOL designers are not obliged to follow an Aerospace Recommended Practice it is quite possible that the insurers may drive the situation indue course, either imposing very high premiums or refusing insurance at all if the ARP is not followed. This and public pressure, and maybe the city authorities who have to deal with the consequences of any UAM accidents could well be the final arbiters of what develops here, irrespective of the attitude of the regulators.

Moving Forward

As you can see, whilst there remains interest in all of our products globally, the US is the most important single market in the move towards certification and sales of our rocket-based solutions. Once on a defined, funded path to certification in the US, then this will support ABBS marketing activities for the same products to the rest of the world.

Ground Distribution Platform survivability - Vehicle Global Acceleration Mitigation (VGAM™)

ABBS have issued a response to the US Rapid Reaction Technology Office’s (RRTO) RFI relating to Thunderstorm for Contested Logistics.

This outlines how the Advanced Blast & Ballistic Systems Limited Vehicle Global Acceleration Mitigation (VGAM™) System for Ground Vehicle protection can be used to improve the survivability of any ground distribution platform.

Technology Description:

Land mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) continue to endanger military personnel and civilians, in active & legacy theatres of operation, worldwide.  Vehicles are susceptible to penetration & shock effects from under-body blast, and being thrown vertically or over-turned by blast gases & ejecta, with the vehicle global acceleration exceeding the capacity of blast seats and resulting in crew injuries & fatalities.  Vehicle up-armouring can mitigate these effects, but with considerable added weight & profile, and subsequent loss of maneuverability.  Advanced Blast & Ballistic Systems Ltd. (ABBS) has developed Vehicle Global Acceleration Mitigation (VGAM) technology, to mitigate the effects of under-body blast (UBB).  The rapid application of VGAM counter-impulse (downforce) to the protected vehicle dramatically reduces its jump height in response to a UBB event.

ABBS Linear Rocket Motor (LRM) effectors (1) stabilizing a Snatch Land-Rover light ground vehicle (2,3) with <0.5 metre jump height over a 6kg(TE) buried mine blast (4)

ABBS’s solution uses rocket-motor effectors on the upper vehicle surfaces to deliver a fast, counter-acting impulse within milli-second blast timescales to counteract UBB global acceleration taking the vehicle ‘weight’ up to c.1,000tons for just the 30-100ms required to counteract the mine/IED impulse loads;  mitigating:

  1. global acceleration and
  2. subsequent rollover and/or slam-down of the vehicle, and keeping occupant loading within the capability (c.9msec-1) of energy-absorbing seat systems.

Solid-propellant rocket motor effectors provide low-mass, high-speed delivery of counter-measure impulse, with low Insensitive Munition (IM) signature when combined with ABBS’s electronic safety, arming & ignition sub-system.  The ABBS VGAM system concept is demonstrated in full-scale vehicle rig firings in the US & the UK.  Integration and validation of this novel system technology can now mitigate UBB global-acceleration threats to multiple classes of ground vehicle, reducing occupant casualties & injuries whilst preserving vehicle mobility and efficiency, strengthening the resilience & survivability of Ground Distribution Platforms.

Operating Concept of ABBS Vehicle Global Acceleration Mitigation (VGAM) system:  a protected vehicle (1) subjected to an under-body blast (UBB) threat, resulting in (2) the fast actuation of  linear rocket motor (LRM) countermeasures on the vehicle roof to counter UBB-driven global acceleration

For more details about Advanced Blast & Ballistic Systems range of Ground Vehicle Protection products, please contact us using the form below.

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    Meet ABBS at the Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability Conference 2021

    Advanced Blast & Ballistic Systems will attending the 6th annual Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability Conference and Active Protection Systems Focus Day (#FAVSurvivability) in London between the 15th – 17th November 2021.

    This conference is organised by @SMIgroupdefence and is the only armoured vehicle conference dedicated to the area of survivability.  The event aims to bring together programme managers, capability directors, commanders from the military, senior engineers, chief scientists and platform managers from leading solution providers to discuss what nations are doing to protect their armoured vehicles and personnel.

    ABBS will also take part in the Active Protection Systems Focus Day on 15th November 2021 which will provide detailed and exclusive insight into how leading nations are integrating APS into their existing vehicle fleet and will look at a range of topics, including our own VGAM™ system and how it can be used as an active countermeasure against mines and IEDs.

    Unlike any other event, the survivability conference is a meeting for the international armoured vehicle community designed around a series of focused discussions on the strategies and technologies being adopted to enhance crew and platform survivability. As seen in recent operations, threats to the vehicle are increasing in both scope and size. Traditional lightly armed combatants now have access to an increasing array of lethal anti-armour capabilities. With the continued proliferation of advanced anti-tank weaponry around the world, and as armed forces pivot to addressing near-peer adversaries, armored vehicle survivability remains as important as it ever has been.

    Crowdcube Funding Pitch 2021

    The Crowdcube Funding Pitch is now open and investment at the link below:-


    There have been quite a few updates and progress since the last round in October, so we hope to welcome you onboard this exciting journey.  There is plenty to read about on the pitch deck and updates to whet your appetites and show how ABBS aims to make a real difference in protection for occupants of both land vehicles and eVTOL aircraft.

    So why not Join Us and Save Lives

    Investments of this nature carry risks to your capital. Please Invest Aware.

    Forthcoming Funding Round Update

    As a reminder, we will soon be launching a new funding round on Crowdcube as we move towards commercialisation of our offerings.  If you are interested in finding out more, then you can pre-register your interest via the dedicated Crowdcube page (capital at risk as always)

    Crowdcube are still coming back with final questions on the due diligence before the new pitch can go live but we are nearly there I think. Part of the problem is that there has been a succession of new developments that we want to get into the pitch so we have had to update it twice, which means new questions from Crowdcube each time. Hopefully we should be able to get the pitch live next week.

    Brief Update on Progress Since Last Fundraising Round

    Blast Test on the Hilux Belly Plate Design

    Following the complete failure of the first test using the 6mm thick main belly plate last year we have now successfully tested a modified version using exactly the same 6mm plates which failed last time. A very heavy 6kg test on a jig (heavy because of the ground conditions) gave about 230mm deformation without penetration, whilst a 4kg test gave only 50mm permanent deformation at the back face, with a jump height within the performance limits of stroking blast seats.

    The jump height of the 6kg test was far more than blast seats could mitigate so whilst we could deal with the penetration threat with 6kg it would need the active Linear Rocket Motors to control the jump height which could make the system too expensive for many light vehicle applications.

    So the emerging conclusion is that we have a 4kg capable solution, which we believe is considerably better than current options, probably twice what anyone else has achieved on such a light vehicle.

    Furthermore, we now have good data on the novel combination of elements we have used in this belly plate design, which will be further elucidated during the current UK MOD DSTL/DASA test programme which will be completed over the next 2 or 3 months.

    We think that we have discovered a potentially patentable combination of design elements that have not been used together before and they may provide a desirable mixture of both shock attenuation and reduced deformation/weight, albeit in a more complicated structure than a plain sheet of armour steel.

    This may prove ideal for use with larger armoured vehicle designs, particularly combined with the active Linear Rocket Motors.  We will see what the market thinks about it.

    Global Marketing Channel Development

    There has been extensive development of the global marketing channel and strengthening of the ABBS team since the first Crowdcube round nine months ago. We now have strong representation covering the whole Asia-Pacific region via a new recruit to the Team, Steve O’Connor (based in Singapore), with specific agreements either in place or being discussed for Japan, South Korea, India, Pakistan, Turkey, South Africa, many ex-French Colonial countries in North, West and East Africa, and options for the UAE and maybe Saudi Arabia. There is  already our existing operation in the USA of course.

    Our new agents in India and Turkey are being very pro-active and have had good responses from their key targets which we are following up and there are potential joint manufacturing operation opportunities in both these locations, as there is in the Middle East.

    The eVTOL Zero-Zero Safety System

    There has been a real, game-changing breakthrough in this market via a proposed agreement with another major US player in the market. No more information to release at this time but the deal should be signed and sealed within the next two weeks.

    We have also been approached by a local UK eVTOL project looking to start a programme to demonstrate the effectiveness of a Zero-Zero safety system on their aircraft if their funding from a Stock Exchange listing comes through.

    These two items match beautifully together.

    US Army/Pentagon Project Proposal

    Again, we can’t say much, only that a major proposal has been made (not by us) for a significant, long term development programme relating to the land vehicle protection system.

    New Enquiry for Blast Protected Containers

    We have received an un-solicited proposal for blast proof containers.  This is something we know well in terms of the technology used currently, and there is direct read-across from the vehicle belly plate design described above. This could either come to nothing or it could become a major new development line for a standard, high volume product using our existing technology, so it will be interesting to see how it develops.

    BFBS Video on You Tube

    In case you haven’t picked it up yet, the British Forces Broadcasting Service video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5sbBKdftNQ has now had over 768,000 views since 11th January, and has raised a lot of interest, including that from the Pentagon. Excellent free publicity potentially leading to major funding for development, which can’t be bad.

    New Products From Other Suppliers Added to Our Product Portfolio.

    • We have an agreement with an Israeli supplier of armoured vehicle blast seats to develop at their own cost crashworthy stroking seats for use in eVTOL aircraft and they have now appointed someone to oversee the design and development of this product specifically for the eVTOL industry. These seats will be offered to the market as an integral part of our safety package.
    • We are in the midst of agreeing heads of terms for the supply of a novel fire resistant prepreg for battery boxes for eVTOL’s and other fire-resistant applications on the aircraft from an associated UK prepreg manufacturer.This new prepreg type is much better than the current standard phenolic prepreg systems which are unpleasant to use due to the toxic ingredients in the material.Containing fires in the very large battery boxes used in the eVTOL’s is a serious issue, and this material has already been certified for use in the application. We may also supply other products in the supplier’s prepreg range for other applications in other markets.

    CrowdCube Funding Pitch Coming Soon

    Why are we launching a new crowdfunding round?

    We will soon be launching a second funding round on CrowdCube.

    Whilst the focus for the original funding was on continuing the development and marketing of our unique solutions for mine and IED threats to vehicles, there have been a number of significant technical, product, and marketing developments which provide real opportunities for bringing other ABBS group products to market.

    These new opportunities are all related to our basic mission to save lives and prevent serious injuries in situations where to date fatalities have been considered inevitable.

    Wider Global Marketing of the Armoured Vehicle Technology

    As a result of the previous interest through CrowdCube and also our appearance on Forces TV (which had over 700,000 views); we have received a substantial number of new contacts globally interested in either using or marketing our technology in the armoured vehicle sector.

    This has enabled us to establish good coverage of immediate potential in Africa, the Middle East,India, Pakistan and the Asia Pacific regions where current conflicts mean that mine and IED threats regularly cause casualties.

    Hence, the belly plate programme for the Toyota Hilux, which is expected to lead to first sales later this year, is already demanding increased marketing and technical support in these regions. Marketing to a number of interested operations in Africa and the Middle East is only awaiting the results of our final Hilux proof-of-concept test which is now expected to be in early April.

    The Hilux belly-plate design has become more sophisticated than originally envisaged in order to optimise both the performance and weight. Much FEA (Finite Element Analysis) of the structure has been undertaken to optimise the design, prior to multiple jig testing (due at the end of March) to prove the design, followed by the full Hilux test in April.This has been a complex design to optimise, especially as the FEA cannot be completely relied upon to give 100% correct results under the extreme blast conditions. Therefore, multiple series of tests are required to demonstrate the suitability of the different options. These include both static and drop testing of various reinforcing beam constructions to identify their relative effectiveness, followed by finally proving the optimal solution by the more expensive full scale blast tests.

    Increased eVTOL Market Products and Activity

    The development of the Active VTOL Crash Prevention Limited (AVCP) Active Zero-Zero Safety System which was originally designed to use a combination of a large parachute and retro-rockets has been on the back burner for the last 18 months because of the lack of funding to pursue it.

    However, a new development has simplified the system concept and new products becoming available has brought forward the need to re-start marketing of the concept, and the new products, as follows:

    Stroking Crashworthy Seat Supply and Simplification of the Zero-Zero System.
    AVCP has obtained a supply of stroking crashworthy aircraft seats which provide protection from spinal injuries in a crash. The availability of stroking seats has enabled the simplification of the eVTOL Safety System by removing the large parachute and replacing it with a small drogue which can be deployed at any aircraft speed.

    The aviation regulators are insisting that these aircraft must be crashworthy by themselves, and hence must be designed to take a 10m/s landing without serious injury to the occupants, and stroking seats are a normal part of the design to achieve this.

    Hence, we can now change our concept by:

    • Reducing the size of the parachute to a small drogue which can be opened fully at any aircraft speed, and which controls the aircraft descent rate to 25m/s and also maintains a level aircraft attitude during the descent.
    • Using the retro-rockets to reduce the aircraft descent rate from a maximum of 25m/s to 10m/s on landing, which is then dealt with mainly by the stroking crashworthy seats.

    The result of these changes is that the whole system becomes lighter, cheaper, and simpler to design and install on aircraft and certify for service.

    This development on its own is enough to justify renewed marketing activity for the concept, but the addition of the stroking seats to the product portfolio can potentially provide earlier sales than the main system itself, and there is also another product that may generate short term revenue whilst requiring no significant investment in R&D.

    Fire Resistant Prepreg System for Battery Box Fire Containment and Cabin Components.
    ABBS is has entered an agreement to distribute a novel prepreg composite system which has exceptional fire resistance. This has already been certified for use as a battery fire containment system for eVTOL aircraft and is being evaluated for similar use in road vehicles. It can also be used for aircraft/rail/road transport cabin interior and firewall applications.

    This composite material has excellent Health and Safety and ‘green’ credentials, unlike the phenolic resin system generally used for these applications to date, which has serious toxicity and skin irritation problems and is currently being phased out of use where possible.  The resin is made from a waste product from processing sugar or other organic materials.

    The UK-based manufacturer of this prepreg is owned by ex-Advanced Composite Group personnel with whom Roger Sloman has a strong relationship; and an agreement has been reached to allow ABBS to develop a joint global marketing exercise to maximise the exploitation of the potential that exists, based initially on the strong position that AVCP has in the worldwide eVTOL market.

    EASA/CAA and FAA Philosophy on Aircraft Safety
    It may come as a surprise to the un-initiated that the regulations on crashworthiness of aircraft only deal with ‘survivable’ crashes, and no attention is given to ‘un-survivable’ accidents, which for helicopters is anything over a descent rate of 9.1m/s (30ft/s). This 9.1m/s descent rate is chosen arbitrarily as being the design criterion that the aircraft must meet and keep the G levels experienced by the occupants to safe levels. Any descent rate higher than this is deemed ‘un-survivable’ although there are many examples of higher descent rate helicopter accidents where occupants have survived with only relatively minor injuries due to the use of stroking crashworthy seats.

    Hence you might imagine that the regulatory bodies would mandate the use of stroking seats, and we have proposed this to EASA, but as a matter of principle they prefer to leave the aircraft designers to adopt whatever solutions they want to meet the overall G-level targets.

    So, by limiting the crashworthiness design criterion to a 9.1m/s Ground Impact Velocity (GIV) the authorities currently ignore the potential to provide protection above this 9.1m/s rate, which we strongly reject as a limit, and we are pushing EASA to re-consider this position.The whole point of our Zero-Zero system is that it is the only physically possible concept that is capable of providing full protection from any descent rate up to 25m/s, which we plan is the maximum that any aircraft will attain under the small drogue parachute in our system. Hence as far as eVTOL’s are concerned we believe that adopting our Zero-Zero system means that essentially there should be NO LOSS OF CONTROL OR POWER LOSS eVTOL ACCIDENTS THAT ARE NOT SURVIVABLE.

    In due course we will propose to EASA a new standard based on our system which will provide full protection in a 25m/s descent rate scenario. Since safety is universally agreed to be critical if the eVTOL market is going to attain its full potential, we believe that in due course the validity of the AVCP approach will eventually be recognised, but it may take a few serious accidents that kill or injure people for the industry and the certification authorities to accept it. In practice it may actually be the insurers and relevant city authorities who bear some financial responsibility for the risks that drive the market to this conclusion.

    AVCP is currently the only company proposing ‘another way down’ that realistically deals with essentially all the emergency loss-of control scenarios that eVTOL’s will experience that result in an excessive GIV.

    The EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) is soon to publish its first guidance on the use of parachute recovery systems for aircraft.  This will tie in with the forthcoming EUROCAE guidance for Installation of Emergency Descent Arrest Systems on eVTOL Aircraft, which AVCP is responsible for drafting.

    As such, now is the key time for ABBS to promote its safety solutions for eVTOL aircraft to the industry and get buy-in from the designers and manufacturers of the aircraft, showing how we can help ensure that practically almost all crashes are survivable.

    Both the updated eVTOL Safety System and the new prepreg composite system offer excellent opportunities to establish these products in those parts of the global marketplace currently unaware of them, based on our existing eVTOL market contacts and presence.  We therefore need to ramp up the global marketing of our eVTOL Safety Systems to take advantage of these major opportunities.

    Bringing Products to Market

    The prepreg composite system has already been certified for use as a battery fire containment system for eVTOL aircraft and is ready to be marketed to eVTOL aircraft designers both as an improved means of protecting the aircraft from battery fires, and for interior panels and components.

    Given satisfactory results from the forthcoming Hilux blast testing it is expected that current interest in the solution will result in specific enquiries and sales starting in 2021. Some further development may be required to produce a complete kit for the vehicle which is likely initially to include stroking blast seats, while an active floor system could be a later addition. Also, if required by the customers a form of active impulse counteraction to reduce the jump height/global acceleration level could be developed based on current ABBS knowledge.

    The stroking crashworthy aircraft seats will require specific design by our seat supplier to take account of the characteristics demanded by the eVTOL aircraft manufacturers.  These will therefore take a while to bring to market, dependent on the design considerations and regulatory pressure. Again, AVCP is responsible within the EASA/EUROCAE committee framework for drafting a new certification standard for stroking seats for eVTOL’s.

    Appointment of KBS Corporate to Pursue Deals with Major Industry Players

    Finally, the ABBS Board has decided that the operation has reached the stage where it is deemed appropriate to explore the potential for deals with major aerospace or defence Groups.

    • Specifically, the AVCP Ltd. eVTOL Safety System may be good candidate for a JV or a partial buyout/buy-in by a large aerospace company which has a stroking seat manufacturing operation, and this will be the early focus of the activity with a handful of the obvious potentially interested parties.
    • Equally, given the successful testing of a 6kg-capable belly plate system for the Toyota Hilux there is expected to be a surge of interest later this year from major defence-related operations, and we need to be prepared with options identified and evaluated if this happens.

    Hence, we have decided to engage KBS Corporate to prepare fully professional approaches to identified major industry players and assist ABBS in considering any resulting options. Our emphasis will be on generating potential buy-in scenarios, initially for the full Zero-Zero eVTOL safety system, and then later for the armoured vehicle technologies rather than any full buy-out scenarios which would compromise any recent investments under the EIS scheme. Maximising the longer-term returns for our shareholders is always our primary objective.

    Join Us to Save Lives

    Please sign up to express your interest in investing in this round.  Investments of this nature carry risks to your capital. Please Invest Aware.

    Interest Grows in our Land Vehicle Protection System

    Following the interview by Forces TV we have continued to receive a growing amount of interest in our Land Vehicle Protection System; including an article in Defence Procurement International and approaches from both the Pentagon and UK MOD who are considering a joint funding exercise to further develop the technology.

    With the ability to retrofit our solution and proven ability to allow a lightweight snatch land-rover to survive a mine blast test; our innovative approach has proved both popular and a discussion point amongst armed forces personnel.


    Our range of protective measures include:

    • VGAM™ - Vehicle Global Acceleration Mitigation – patented Linear Rocket Motors (LRM™) counteract mine blast lifting forces to prevent the vehicle being blown into the air.  These rockets fire within a few milliseconds of a mine blast, counteracting the lifting forces generated by a mine or IED and pushing the vehicle down to keep it grounded.
    • VAFS™ - Vehicle Active Floor System – actuators pull the floor away from occupant’s feet to prevent Floor Shock injuries by ensuring that they are not in contact with the floor.
    • CRBP - Composite Reinforced Belly Plate – a special bellly plate comprised of both steel and composite materials to minimise deformation and reduce impulse transferred to the vehicle, without needing a deep V shaped hull.  This builds on our CEO (Roger Sloman)'s materials expertise - he was the person who introduced the concept of carbon-fibre chassis to Formula One racing cars in the 1970s.

    We are excited to see that finally our aim of providing Technology that Saves Lives is now being recognised on a global scale.

    New Seedrs Fund-Raising Round

    The fund-raising round on Seedrs has now been cancelled.  During the round, it became clear that many would prefer an equity fund-raising, particularly as they would still be eligible for EIS relief on monies invested.

    Why not the Future Fund?

    The round was a convertible loan note, fund matched by the UK Future Fund.  Unfortunately, it became apparent after launching the round that anyone who invested via a Future Fund round would not be able to claim EIS on any further investment rounds (even if they were equity rounds).

    As a result, we regret that we decided to cancel this fund raising and ensure that our shareholders can continue to benefit from EIS relief.

    We still require funding to maximise the new opportunities, especially for products that can provide short/mid-term revenue without any significant investment by ABBS, except in marketing costs.

    1) We have a number of new contacts globally interested in using or marketing our technology which all require support.

    2) The stroking seat supply has enabled the simplification of the eVTOL Safety System which also makes it much cheaper, and easier to install on the aircraft, bringing forward the need for marketing activity in the USA.

    3) The belly plate programme for the Toyota Hilux is leading towards early sales which need increased marketing and technical support globally.

    We therefore intend to run an equity fund raising round in the coming months; so watch out for news of this round.

    You can also pre-register your interest on CrowdCube so that you will hear as soon as the new round is launched.