Pioneering sandless sandbags are featured in a special showcase hosted by the British Army which shows armed forces and humanitarians worldwide some of Britain’s very best inventions that have gone on to prove their worth in action.
A huge hangar at the British Army base at Larkhill near Salisbury in Wiltshire has been transformed into realistic sets from different warfare areas – desert, jungle, urban and rural.
They are packed with equipment used by the British Army such as BlastSax alternative sandbags and Larkhill is visited every year by key military personnel from across the globe so is an ideal showcase to promote British products which other armed forces can buy.
Larkhill also hosts humanitarian delegations from around the world so they showcase FloodSax sandless sandbags as well which are used to stop floodwater getting into homes and businesses. FloodSax are incredibly flexible and multi-functional which means that in their dry state they can soak up leaks, drips, spills and floods inside. They are ideal for flood prevention and flood mitigation.
Both BlastSax and FloodSax alternative sandbags are made by Yorkshire-based Environmental Defence Systems Ltd.
The Larkhill display is staffed by soldiers from the Export Support Team (EST) who can explain just how the equipment has been used when it counts - in action - and how it stood up to that ultimate test.
According to UK Defence and Security Exports: “The Export Support Team is a 19-strong cohort of regular British Army officers and soldiers who possess a wealth of knowledge and experience both on operations and in the training environment. It’s our mission to provide specialist military services and advice to UK defence and security companies, helping them to succeed in the export market.”
The Export Support Team is a department of UK Defence and Security Exports which is part of the Department for International Trade.
According to Defence Focus magazine: “The soldiers provide the companies with a trustworthy, educated voice on kit that is either already being used by British forces or inventions that are new to the market. Authoritative military advice can help facilitate million-pound deals for UK companies.”
BlastSax, which have which undergone stringent MoD tests to prove their effectiveness, are used by the military and police forces worldwide to mitigate the impact from improvised explosive devices and fragmentation and are effective against bullets.
Here’s how FloodSax work. In their dry state FloodSax resemble large pillowcases and are very flat with a large surface area so are ideal to use indoors to absorb leaks, drips, spills and leaks in hard-to-reach places such as underneath pipes. FloodSax and BlastSax are vacuum-packed in handy-sized packs making them very easy to store yet can be quickly deployed to where they are needed.
When FloodSax and BlastSax come into contact with water they absorb 20 litres which they retain in a special gelling polymer that transforms them from being as light as a pillowcase to being more effective than traditional sandbags in around 8 minutes. FloodSax are used to stop floods while BlastSax are deployed for blast and bullet mitigation.
BlastSax sales director Richard Nikolic said: “Working with the guys at the Export Sales Team has really helped us get a foothold with the BlastSax and gives us a shop window to the world. Now we have BlastSax on permanent display in the urban zone it can only accelerate our market penetration even further.
“The FloodSax display also shows humanitarian delegations just how the same technology can save flood damage on a massive scale. Climate change is showing us that the world’s weather is changing and in many places, including the UK, it’s only going to get wetter with far more serious flooding incidents.”
Almost 3 million FloodSax sandless sandbags have now been sold worldwide.