Hephaestus Consulting

Armour and Ballistic Design for the Military Industry


Hephaestus Consulting is a specialist provider of design services for armour and ballistic materials for European military and security sector.

The companies security cleared experts specialise in providing civilian security and infrastructure solutions, as well as the integration and design testing of composite armour solutions, improvised explosive device (IED), rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), ballistic, blast, and vehicle design.

Ballistic testing and evaluation for defence applications

Hephaestus provides efficient and cost-effective ballistic testing and evaluation services and trials management worldwide, including ballistic certification services such as:

  • National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (personal protective equipment [PPE] and hard armour)
  • STANAG 4569 greater than level 6 (30mm armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot [APFSDS])
  • Vereinigung der Prüfstellen für angriffshemmende Materialien und Konstruktionen (VPAM)
  • Vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) greater than 1,000kg net explosive quantity (NEQ)
  • Rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) (including free-flight) explosively formed penetrator (EFP) / IED
  • Buried IED / blast / grenade

The company designs and constructs bespoke trials programmes in collaboration with engineers and technical authorities as and when required for non-standard, novel or customer-specific tests.

Surrogate test projectiles for ballistic solution development

The projectiles Hephaestus uses for tests are equal to the latest versions of STANAG 4569 for levels 5 and 6 KE - Medium Cannon.

These cost-effective projectiles are reverse engineered from the PMB 073 (25mm x 137mm APDS-T), PMB 090 (25mm x 137mm APFSDS-T) projectiles, as well as the 30mm x 165mm AP-T soviet projectile.

Projectiles used in tests match the metallurgy, ballistic penetration performance, and repeatable flight behaviour, which is ideal for development of ballistic solutions. Full batch control and traceability back to the raw materials are also available.

Other surrogate projectiles (inc 0.50in APM2), STANAG 2920 FSPs are available, as well as test ammunition sourcing and supply.

Technical consulting services for armour, ballistics and security solutions

Hephaestus is an established security consultant for all areas of armour, ballistics, and survivability, providing clients with in-depth advice and technical support.

The company's experience comprises definition and classification of threats, solution specifications and production of finished products, with additional expertise in the design and qualification of armour systems and protective materials.

Hephaestus' services include armour design consultancy, development of commercialisation plans, qualification / batch test data review, qualification planning / project management, reverse engineering / exploitastion, and attack cause/effects analysis.

Design services for bespoke security products

Hephaestus supplies a full design, qualification and certification service to produce highly integrated, well-engineered bespoke products. The company also provides armour / protective systems integration into infrastructure, buildings, vehicles and facilities.

Also available is full sub-contract manufacture project management, including full vehicles, is available through our network products when required to suit all applications.

Hephaestus offers forensic reverse engineering of armour and projectile surrogate design services for protective systems at all levels.

Test and evaluation equipment

In addition to conducting T&E activities, Hephaestus designs and produces its own range of test equipment for ballistic and blast trials. These are supplied via industry leading instrumentation partners and include:

  • Universal receivers / firing equipment including test guns up to 30mm
  • Firing tables, XY frames and backstops
  • Biometrically representative weapon test mounts
  • High-speed video lighting and instrumentation accessories

About Hephaestus Consulting

Hephaestus headquarters are in Reading, UK, and the company's clients include UK and European Police Force and Ministry of Defence.

Hephaestus has more than a decade of experience in government and industry applications, including stab and slash-resistant PPE garments, protecting against IED blast and anti-tank munitions. It also delivers services such as design, test and evaluation, as well as total design project management.

Contact Details

Hephaestus Consulting
Davidson House
The Forbury
Reading RG1 3EU
United Kingdom
+44 07979 495742

Available White Papers


Advice, Analysis, Design, Test and Evaluation Services 02 October 2017 Hephaestus Consulting provides specialist design advice and build services to the military and civilian protected assets sector.


Abnormal Threat Services 04 September 2017 Hephaestus Consulting specialises in providing test and evaluation services for not only established standards but also novel, improvised or otherwise unusual threats / environments.


Surrogate Projectile: 30mm x 165mm AP-T 08 August 2017 This test item is an accurate copy of the penetrating core from the Soviet 30mm x 165mm AP-T projectile (as per STANAG 4569 / AEP-55 Vol 1 ed2 level 6a).