• Black Hawk
    Black Hawk
    Blast Engineering & Safety Specialists

Black Hawk

Black Hawk has been established to serve in a holistic mode the unique protection needs of anything valuable: human life, tangible, and intangible assets.

Black Hawk’s core business activity is the protection of structures from extreme hazards (blast, impact, ballistic and fire). This activity is supported by a specialized group of people with solid background in engineering, construction and asset management, and security administration and execution.

Current increasing concern about human life and structural preservation against extreme hazards like terrorist attacks and antipiracy measures are top priorities for asset owners, designers, government agencies and others concerned to enhance the protection of their personnel and assets.

Black Hawk provides complete protection engineering services. Such protection can be depicted (see banner figure above) as a multi-layer, softer-to-harder deterrent set of shielding measures (portrayed in shades of red), which are able to defend and minimize the risk of life-loss or asset value-degradation.

Protection Strategies
Each type of facility requires a different protection strategy. Such strategies depend on the efficient integration of many disparate factors, including cultural, political and operational modalities; policing and security laws and standards; engineering practice, innovation and guides; and the level of attention, funds and skills focused on a particular protection or issue.

Regardless of protection strategy, an efficient system needs to include the layered approach of protective measures: the “cold” protective measures offered by the State, Government, or local police authorities (over which the client has no control) need to be supplemented by the “hot” protective measures which Black Hawk develops, designs and installs.

The multi-tiered nature of protection is illustrated by the graphic presented below (figure above, shades of blue). As depicted, especially in the outer blue-tinged tiers, protection can be viewed as a filtering and winnowing down process whereby each tier or layer of protection offers opportunities for interdiction and discovery, while at the same time reducing the size and frequency of threat due to the fear of discovery and the difficulty of operating.

In contrast, protection strategies associated with a specific facility (figure above, shades of red) may include: designing blasts-resistant columns, walls, and windows; physical security measures such as anti-ram barriers, fencing, enhanced lighting, CCTVs, and secure entry-points; and operational procedures such as patrol, special response teams, neighborhood watches, and security training to provide heightened surveillance and vigilance. Protection for a building or facility does not begin at the entrance, but it is part of an overall fabric of multi-tiered, interwoven, and integrated procedures.

Protection, Implementation Process
To implement the above Protection Strategies, Black Hawk operates in the following 3-step series of predefined actions: (i) Situation and Structural Assessment, (ii) Protection System Design, (iii) System Installation (construction). The whole process (study, design and installation) is supported by a vigorous continuous research and development program. This process is described below.

The first step in response to the client security needs, is to execute a security assessment of the facility, existing or even in the planning stage, and gather all possible information regarding the structure, the everyday operations and surrounding area. The purpose of this step is to thoroughly examine, recognize and assess possible weak spots and vulnerabilities.

Assessment - Vulnerability analysis
A security assessment is basically the process of  understanding the fundamentals of vulnerability analysis so that the client ability to effectively and efficiently respond to a variety of security incidents is evaluated. These incidents can range from simple security violations to direct attacks on client assets, whether they occur locally or somewhere else.
Vulnerabilities are physical or operational weaknesses in facilities that can be exploited and be subject to malicious acts. The scope of the assessment process is to identify the potential risk and exposure of the facility to various threats. This information is also used to determine the adequacy of existing protective measures and to evaluate the extent to which additional protective measures may be necessary.
Security assessments can take many forms, but most examine the nature of the client organization and the assets potentially at risk: people, physical infrastructure (structures, building systems, etc.), proprietary information, and electronic infrastructure.

Description of Process:

  • Operational security vulnerabilities
  • Facility vulnerabilities
  • Structural upgrade for blast events or other malicious acts
  • Windows and walls force resistance
  • Blast resistance and dispersion
  • Fire protection planning
  • Security breach vulnerabilities

Black Hawk can offer services for a wide variety of facilities (private, commercial, industrial, maritime, etc.) or assets and to provide a solution, tailor-made to the requirements of the client.

Blast & impact protective design
Black Hawk’s work includes design for the protection of structural and mechanical systems from blast, shock and impact. This involves protective design for private and government buildings, airports, stadiums, embassies, industries, nuclear facilities, waterfront structures, pipelines, infrastructures, and maritime. Protective design offers a different challenge to the structural engineer than that of conventional structural design, which is important to be recognized for a successful result. Black Hawk is specialized in retrofitting existing facilities to enhance their blast-resistance and uses a variety of specialized tools to develop these designs depending on the application and complexity of the design and intensity of the threat.

Protective design for blast, impact & ballistic resistant
Black Hawk provides full design services, combining high technology and advanced engineering skills. The design procedure includes Software Analysis, specialized Products and Advanced Composite Systems for blast protection customized to the client’s needs.

Description of Services

  • Blast-resistant structural design
  • Collapse analysis for building framing systems
  • Penetration prevention of high-speed projectiles or fragments
  • Designs to arrest entry of high-speed large objects (vehicles, ships, aircrafts)
  • Designs of blast walls and detonation shields
  • Perimeter security design
  • Vulnerability analysis
  • Blast, shock and impact effects analysis
  • Development of threat mitigation products
  • Evaluation of designs for compliance with criteria for collapse and blast risks

Black Hawk offers a turn-key solution to our customers, having the ability not only to assess and design a security plan but also to install and actually execute the full scope of works with its people and means.

Black Hawk has an experienced engineering team which can install and implement in full the security measures that have been designed to meet the client’s requirements.
All aspects of the design (architectural, structural, mechanical, and electrical) are dealt fully by our engineering and construction teams, hence all information is treated with the confidentiality that the client demands.

Fielding test articles and conducting successful blast effects tests require a unique set of skills and extensive experience to obtain the needed data and design for the unexpected. Some of Black Hawk’s staff have been running such tests for over 40 years and have an enviable track record of success in performing excellent work.

Testing with Blast & Impact Loads
Black Hawk staff has performed many of blast effects tests and has provided some of these services to the US Government. A unique aspect of most of this work is that these tests are performed at full scale.
This work includes:

  • test planning
  • design/construction of test specimens
  • charge sizing
  • pretest predictions of the results for gage selection, locating and ranging
  • interpretation of the results
  • writing test reports

Products /Devices Development and Testing
Black Hawk has aided many products/devices manufacturers by evaluating/improving their designs through testing under blast and impact loads. Black Hawk has developed a technology for low cost testing of products and design concepts to evaluate the capability of providing protection from blast and impact hazards.