Assault Ladders - The Lowdown

Assault Ladders - The Lowdown

13th November 2014

Here at Safety Fabrications we’re used to ladders coming in all shapes and sizes, even ladders that don’t look like ladders.  Well, the other day while scouring the online news on ladders (we like to keep up to date with all aspects of the industry), we came across the term assault ladder and decided to take a closer look.  Okay, maybe we’re all ladder anoraks here, that’s what makes us so dedicated to providing the best access equipment possible to our customers.  So, onwards and upwards, let’s check out assault ladders.

As their name implies, assault ladders are designed to provide a strong but lightweight solution to climbing requirements for both the military and the emergency services.  Assault ladders come in a range of materials, sizes and weights, depending on the range of applications they will be used for.  

A basic military assault ladder can weigh as little as 3.5 kg, depending on length and width and is designed to be carried by hand by a soldier in full combat gear.  They are manufactured from aircraft grade aluminium and finished with low noise signature paint – the ultimate stealth ladder.

Some assault ladders are designed to be used in forced entry situations and assault ladders are manufactured by specialist providers who focus on military and emergency rescue equipment.  Indeed, on some of the manufacturer websites we came across we found products like ballistic shields, medical stretchers, bulletproof vests and binoculars.  

Just about the coolest thing we came across was the very latest in modern technology what’s known as Man Worn Power and Data (MWPD).  This is Geekspeak for the integration of smart technology into clothing and equipment.  This is based around a single high speed USB wiring system and replaces the cable currently used to link portable communications devices carried by soldiers.  We really are living in the future – Adaptive control of power flow through the clothing  enables a range of batteries to be charged using power from any available source, such as vehicles, mains supply, solar panels, etc.

Top of the range (and most expensive, of course) are elaborate ladder systems that are designed to provide a flexible solution under just about any circumstances.  These are very basic and lightweight (but strong and durable) ladders that can be interlocked to extend them both lengthways and widthways.  They boast a range of accessories that extend their functionality, including hooks for windows of houses, trains, buses and trams.  They’re suitable for use by both police and armed forces and are totally utilitarian in both style and looks.

Then we move into the valley of the beasts with vehicle borne assault systems (VBAS) of several kinds.  These are assault ladders and systems that are mounted onto the roofs of military vehicles, armoured vehicles and vans.
This whole exercise really has been an eye-opener and we’ve learned quite a bit about some very different ladders than those we usually deal with.