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The DoD List is shorthand for the Department of Defense Anti-ram Vehicle Barrier List. It is considered the gold standard when it comes to requiring robust protection for US government buildings, military bases and embassies and is supervised and maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Protective Design Center who review all tested barriers, like anti-ram bollards, and approve their applications.
The DoD List is an essential resource for architects, engineers, procurement officers and other protective design professionals for determining whether a security barrier product meets the requirements and standards of the Department of Defense.
The Protective Design Center (PDC) is the United States Army's division of expertise for engineering services related to force protection and protective design. The center is located in Omaha, Nebraska and provides engineering design and expertise as well as administering the approval of vehicle barriers for the DoD List.
Protective Design Center engineers also perform extremely thorough on-site surveys of physical security in order to determine best practices and identify vulnerabilities at existing US government properties. The recommendations produced by this data better inform the PDC in developing standards and strategies for reducing or stopping hostile threats to government infrastructure and personnel. This information gathering process creates practical security solutions and policies from implementation plans to installation instructions and even cost estimations.
Every three months (quarterly), the Department of Defense (DoD) publishes their approved list of anti-ram vehicle barriers that meet their testing standards. To appear on the DoD Anti-Ram Vehicle Barrier List, manufacturers must submit comprehensive documentation for their barriers, including engineering drawings, dimensions, materials used, and detailed schematics. The barriers must also provide certified documentation of extensive crash testing procedures by an accredited facility in order to determine the anti-ram rating barrier and penetration ratings. Additionally, product submissions must be received 30 days before the upcoming quarterly list is published.
The Department of Defense security philosophy is to incorporate a tiered or layered defensive system that often utilizes both active and passive security barriers to delay, mitigate or completely thwart hostile attackers. To insure maximum protection, numerous international rating standards and testing requirements are employed to evaluate high security vehicle barriers, often called “anti-ram vehicle barriers”.
All manufacturers are required to fill out extensive applications for inclusion on the DoD Anti-ram Vehicle Barrier List. Mandatory submission materials include engineering designs and drawings, detailed specification sheets, material component lists and most importantly the full vehicle crash test report from an accredited testing facility, like Calspan, Texas A&M Transportation Institute to name but a few. These test reports are thoroughly evaluated by the PDC to insure that products will optimally protect personnel and save lives.
There are 13 categories of anti-ram rated vehicle barriers separated into two basic types: Active and Passive. An active barrier is one that essentially moves mechanically in some way - examples would be wedge barriers or retractable anti-ram bollards, often called pop-up bollards.
The DoD certifies the following Active vehicle barriers:
Passive vehicle barriers, typically called fixed barriers, do not have mechanical movement and function as a stationary security barricade. Most are permanently fixed in place by concrete foundations. However, there are portable passive vehicle barriers that can be set up for special events requiring added protection. An example would be a DoD fence that can be used for temporary perimeter security. This type of barrier was installed around the Capitol after the January 6th attack and later removed when a lower threat assessment warranted it.
The DoD certifies the following Passive vehicle barriers:
Vehicle crash tests provide architects and engineers a quick calculation of which vehicle barrier products meet or exceed the threat level anticipated for a particular project and therefore whether or not a vehicle barrier system can be utilized in their designs and construction.
An embassy in a high-risk conflict zone needs to protect against potentially deadly attacks or threats that far exceed the danger faced by a retail storefront where a vehicle-into-building (VIB) crash would be the most common threat. Anti-ram ratings provide a quick but verified snapshot of the protection provided by a specific vehicle barrier system.
Yes. While a DoD vehicle barrier is required for all US government properties, they can also be a critical asset for any business or company that requires high-security perimeter protection because of a heightened danger from a Hostile Vehicle Attack (HVA) or Vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED). Added security is also needed when there is an increased risk of being targeted due to valuable, sensitive or dangerous materials being on site. Examples might include:
Very simply: Penetration distance. This is a critical measurement of protection and warrants a deeper dive.
Anti-ram crash tests are conducted under the requirements of several different standards. The first standard, called a K-rating, was developed in 1985 by the Department of State (DoS) and measured how far the front bumper of a standard 15,000-pound truck, traveling at a minimum required speed (30, 40 or 50 mph) penetrated the vehicle security barrier. This criteria was later revised in 2003 to measure how far the leading edge of the truck bed penetrated the barrier system. The distance the vehicle travels beyond the security barrier is called the penetration distance.
For example, an anti-ram bollard’s stopping power is tested by crashing a 15,000-pound medium-sized truck into it. The speed of the motor vehicle (measured in miles per hours) will designate the K rating:
How far the vehicle breaches the barrier (in feet) is measured and assigned an “L” value of 1, 2 or 3.
So a “K12L3” means at a top speed of 50 mph, the 15,000 lb. test truck penetrated the anti-ram vehicle barrier 3.3 feet (39”) or less.
No. The DoS standard was essentially sunset in 2007 when the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), now called ASTM International, developed a newer rating called ASTM F2656 that has fast become the dominant testing standard.
Many people erroneously believe that the difference between these two ratings is that K-ratings are “military” and ASTM ratings are “civilian”. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Both ratings can be used for military or civilian project requirements with K-ratings being the older standard that was mothballed in 2007.
ASTM International’s testing standards are updated regularly with the most recent update being in 2020. The ASTM F2656 standard tests a 15,000 lb. truck at speeds of 30, 40 or 50 mph. These are called M ratings with M50 = 50 mph, M40 = 40 mph and M30 = 30 mph.
For the critical measurement of penetration distance, ASTM F2656 ratings use a “P” designation from P1 to P4:
For example, an approved DoD vehicle barrier or DoD fence that stops a 15,000 lb. truck with less than 1 meter would earn a rating of M30 P1.
It is important to note that P4 means that the penetration measurement exceeded 98.41 feet or more. P4 essentially doesn’t have an upper limit. A barrier could be theoretically penetrated by 500 feet and still receive a P4 rating. In some cases, this might erase the standoff distance or allow far too much incursion into pedestrian space for it to provide effective protection. When it comes to high-level protection, this latter rating is often not useful or applicable which is why, not surprisingly, the Department of Defense dropped the P4 rating and ASTM eliminated it altogether in its 2015 Revision. Currently, there is only P1, P2 and P3 standards for penetration.
This rating is often referred to as a “low speed” rating because it tests vehicles traveling at 10, 20 and 30 mph. Such speeds are typically applicable to civilian and retail areas, like parking lots, farmers markets and storefronts where Vehicle-into-Building crashes are more common and high-speed HVA protection is likely not included in the primary threat assessment. This calculation is largely influenced by the site location and its proximity to higher speed traffic and/or available space to achieve higher speed incursion and thus more kinetic force.
ASTM F2656 have M ratings designating 30, 40 or 50 mph speed of a 15,000 lb. truck. The ASTM F3016 standard is designed to test a 5,000 lb. vehicle traveling at 10, 20 or 30 mph. The speed is designated by an S rating:
The other major difference is the Penetration ratings. Because of the low speeds, F3016 has different mandated standards that allow for less penetration distance.
In addition to this, F3016 tests use a surrogate vehicle with a specified crumple zone to simulate a full size pickup truck or SUV so every test is uniform. The vehicle must also strike the barrier (often a bollard) directly at 90 degrees and at a height of 28 inches.
A new, 100% digital, searchable DoD List is now available at Protogetic.com. The list is improved and more accurate and allows architects and engineers to quickly access extremely detailed product information about the high security anti-ram vehicle barriers that their project specifically requires. It also allows them to instantly perform side-by-side comparisons. Visit Protogetic.com today and see how much faster your DoD projects get done!