Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM)

Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) is a phrase used to describe measures to counter the threat of terrorist vehicle bombs when considering the resilience against attack of people or buildings and important infra-structure sites such as airports, shopping centres, railways stations, public areas etc.

Hostile Vehicle Mitigation products in useThe threat of Hostile Vehicle Attacks

During the past decade the threat of terrorist vehicle bombs has increased. This form of attack is more advanced than previous terrorism types as it creates maximum confusion and destruction with minimum warning.

Previously, vehicles were very often parked in close proximity to the intended target and the bomb exploded remotely. Now, with the introduction of the suicide bomber, the intent is to breach the perimeter and drive at the intended target before initiating the explosion. Commercially – hostile vehicle mitigation strategy, planning, product development and installation is the best defence we can employ.

Hostile vehicle mitigation protecting public areas

Targeting public areas

Globally, there have been many new cases of using a truck bomb, usually described as a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED), to target busy public areas such as airports, shopping centres, railways stations, a popular tourist zones and government-linked buildings.

In recent attacks with VBIED’s being used to penetrate a perimeter and then deliver an explosive device or, as in the recent France/Nice incident, the vehicle is used as the primary weapon to attack people and create maximum mayhem.

Protection with Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM)

Although the use of a vehicle as a tool of terrorism is not new –  with the first attempt at destroying The World Trade Centre in 1993, the IRA bombing of Canary Wharf in 1996 and the bombing of two US Embassies in East Africa in 1998. Attacks are becoming more frequent and indiscriminate.

More and more the targets such as busy city centres, governmental buildings and tourist hubs are introducing Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) techniques in an attempt to foil or minimise the impact of this type of terrorism.

HVM bollards

There are a range of measures that can be put in place to counter the threat of an HVA aimed at premises or people, offering various levels of protection. These include Rising Bollards, Static Bollards, MitiGate Manual Gate, Road Blockers, Sliding Gates and Bi-fold gates.

HVM solutions can be deployed as temporary solutions for one-off events or integrated as part of a site of venue structure too.

Leading the way in HVM

Cova Security Gates have been continuously leading the development of Hostile Vehicle Mitigation products since the company was first started in 1987.

The first Cova Full Depth Road Blocker was installed at the British Consulate General in Istanbul Turkey in 1989. It’s strength and resilience was tested fully in November 2003 when a truck attacked the entrance gate at speed. On breaching the entrance gate, the attacker ran into the Cova Security Gates road blocker (sometimes referred to as road wedges or wedges) located just inside the entrance. This not only-but also stopped the vehicle immediately and prevented further intrusion into the Consulate building.

Despite the fact that this attack and the resulting explosion caused extensive damage to surrounding areas it proves that a correctly sited HVM product can and will protect the intended target. Accordingly, the Consulate was left relatively unaffected.

Consequently, Cova Security Gates commit considerable time and investment into researching and developing an extensive portfolio of HVM products, all offering guaranteed maximum levels of protection.

Finally, all our products are manufactured and tested in-house in our own factory and meet world-class safety standards. In brief, they are all designed and built to an exact specification to provide the right solution and protection.

Link to the UK.GOV website mentioning Hostile Vehicle Mitigation.

Our Hostile Vehicle Mitigation Solutions

Several of Cova Security Gate’s hostile vehicle mitigation solutions are used globally. Key parts of London’s business district are ring-fenced by Cova PAS rated shallow road blockers. These are an ideal solution for this type of urban environment as presenting the appearance of ‘open for business’ is key. Whilst simultaneously ensuring that the level of protection against a VBIED is critically high.

Protective barriers can be imaginatively incorporated into structures such as benches, planters, landscape architecture, earthworks, walls, lamp columns, shelters and information boards to blend in with the surrounding aesthetics whilst offering security.

Bi-folding and sliding PAS rated crash tested anti-ram gates are used extensively across the UK and internationally in many types of location from Oil refineries to Embassies. These gates are manufactured to our client’s exact specifications and provide both protection against vehicles and persons and, when used in a vehicle ‘air lock’ situation, provide a very secure environment for containing and controlling movement.

Not long ago we introduced Cova Manual Crash Tested Miti-gate CSG 10900 is a low-cost approach to securing areas. Miti-gate protects pedestrians and minimise access to areas such as town centre’s paved areas – permanently or temporarily. The MITI gate is opened and closed at key times manually during events making it ideal for areas that only require occasional access.

Vehicle Attacks Timeline:

  • North Carolina, Chapel Hill


  • Bastille Day, Nice


  • Ohio State University


  • Christmas Market


  • Melbourne


  • Westminster, London

    United Kingdom

  • Stockholm


  • London Bridge, London

    United Kingdom

  • Finsbury Park, London

    United Kingdom

  • La Rambla, Barcelona


  • Manhattan, New York


  • Melbourne


  • Toronto


  • Westminster, London

    United Kingdom

  • Pulwama, India

    United Kingdom

HVM Safety Standards

Before there were official testing standards in the UK, the US had introduced the DOS scheme – this tested products such as road barriers (road blockers) and rising bollards using a 7.5 ton US truck at various speeds.

Proudly a UK manufacturing business, Cova Security Gates worked in line with these standards and independently tested and verified both its model CSG10503, a full depth road blocker in 2005 and CSG10506, a shallow depth road blocker in 2006.

Moreover, in 2007, the UK government set up the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). It’s job is to tackle vehicle terrorism. The CPNI published impact testing and installation guidance documents, in the form of British Standards Institution Publicly Available Specifications (PAS).

The first publication, PAS 69 guides the selection and installation of vehicle security barriers. PAS 68:2007 followed which specifies a classification system for the performance of vehicle security barriers and their supporting foundations when subjected to a single horizontal impact.

Lately, both US’s DOS and the UK’s PAS standards have been superseded. The new US standard being ASTM F 2656. And, conversely, in the UK, we have the revised PAS68:2013 and PAS 69:2013.

In 2013 an ISO standard was also launched – IWA 14-1:2013 Vehicle security barriers – Part 1: Performance requirement, vehicle impact test method and performance rating

Across the range of test standards (PAS, ASTM & IWA) there are minor variations in standards. Tested weight of impact vehicle, type of vehicle and speed of vehicle can vary. Generally speaking the performance standard remains similar.

Cova Security Gates rigorously adhere to all testing standards, globally. With our in-house testing facilities, it is reassuring to know that all our products are of the highest specifications.

CSG 10140

CSG 10503

CSG 10506

CSG 10640 & 10650

CSG 10800

CSG 10103

CSG 10405

CSG 10300

CSG 10700