This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has recently started using his new armored BMW as his regular mode of transportation. Abbott treated himself to the $500,000 luxury vehicle after a few stressful months in government. The car is one of six limousines the Federal government has bought under the heightened terrorism alert placed on the nation by Mr. Abbott.
According to the Mail Online, the $6.3 million contract for the limousines has already been used at the G20 summit in Brisbane in November. Also, the Prime Minister has been spotted using the vehicle for a visit to the family farm just outside Canberra.
The BMW limousines are bombproof and has been designed to withstand AK47 bullets. They are replacing the fleet of Holden VIP limos used by the Prime Minister previously.
Each vehicle is built to combat street crime with blunt objects and handguns up to a caliber of .44 Magnum and organized crime incidents. These commonly involve the use of AK-47s. The armored limousines are also designed to withstand attacks with explosive devices and armor-piercing weapons.
The custom made security cars offer three levels of safety, depending on the individual requirements designed to meet a range of risk scenarios. The use of armored cars for high-profile leaders is a widespread practice around the world.
Register to iHLS Israel Homeland Security
Although most details on U.S. President Obama’s armored limousines are classified for security reasons, the details that have been released are pretty impressive. Nevertheless, despite the cutting edge defensive features, the vehicles have been criticized for poor maneuverability. This may prove a snag in scenarios requiring quick getaway.
Referred to as ‘The Beast’ by the US Secret Service, the heavily-armored presidential vehicle has special night vision system in a secret location and special loops that replace the stock door handle for agents to hold on to when running alongside the car.
President Obamas’ Cadillac DTS (DeVille Touring Sedan) is also sealed against biochemical attacks. It carries an oxygen supply and there is even a blood bank of the president’s blood type kept in the trunk.
The Jaguar used by British Prime Minister David Cameron is also equipped with an oxygen supply to protect from chemical and biological attacks. The British PM’s limo is also understood to be capable of withstanding blasts equivalent to 15 kg of TNT as well as a variety of other armor-piercing weapons.
This Jag also features a 13 mm explosive resistant steel plate underneath the body, titanium- and Kevlar-lined cabins. In addition, it has armored windows with bulletproof polycarbonate toughened glass, run flat-tires and ‘gun ports’ to enable bodyguards to return fire at any attackers.
The car also boasts state-of-the-art communication and conferencing systems, high definition televisions. Additionally, it features night vision adjustable, heated and cooled rear massage seats, and a surround-sound system.