Certain people within our society require significantly more extensive security precautions than others. So that politicians, members of an aristocratic family, as well as high-ranking managers from business and wealthy private individuals can be transported safely, the automotive industry armored limos developed. From a purely visual point of view, the cars attract little more attention than the normal models. However, they have bulletproof steel plates in the doors as well centimeter-thick windows. The robust and heavy construction turns the civil special vehicles into rolling fortresses. But how exactly are these armored sedans built and tested?
Who builds armored security vehicles?
A few car manufacturers offer armored limousines in their fleet. These include the German premium brands Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz. However, Bentley, Citroën, Jaguar and Ranger Rover special vehicles directly from the factory. The largest markets for armored limousines are in Russia, Asia and South America. In Europe, the well-known royal families, authorities and wealthy entrepreneurs are among the customers. Of course, there are such vehicles but also with others specialist company like Incas Tuning, Mansory design or ADD Armour zu kaufen.
How is an armored limousine built?
The development and production of a civilian security vehicle is complex and expensive. With a little safety glass and a reinforced body it's not done yet. The car manufacturers have to develop their own plan for each new special vehicle. Everything is already decided during the shell construction. It specifies where the seats, trunk and engine will later be placed. There is always an armored core between the two axes. It is intended for later passengers.
The previous armored sedans were still based on the regular S-Class, which was ultimately just lined with more robust material, more armor and thicker windows. With the Mercedes-Benz S 680 Guard 4Matic That should change now, so that the car not only offers protection against precision rifle bullets, but also against machine guns and explosives. Among other things, the guard is deployed for the German Federal government and their ministries.
Reliable protection thanks to armored glass and steel
In order to fully secure the secure core, armored doors with massive panes deployed. A special sturdy steel on the rear side as well as on the bulkhead should be able to intercept all kinds of gun violence. That also applies to them anti-shatter mats and aramid panels In the roof. So in the future too gas attacks are successfully repelled, it becomes easier inside the passenger cabin Overpressure generated. So no gas can penetrate from the outside. In addition, the vehicles have a oxygen tank with clean air.
Discretion and painstaking manual work
One of BMW's first private security vehicles was the 733i High Security (E23). The first generation of the armored 7 Series BMWs could be pre-ordered from 1977. The manufacturer did not provide more detailed information regarding the planning, construction, technology and production. After all, discretion and secrecy are important in this business.
Powerful motorization for fast travel
Armored limousines are particularly heavy due to their additional equipment. To drive this mass well is a powerful engine needed. In the case of the one mentioned above 4,5 tons heavy S 680 Guard it is a V12 with 612 hp. It offers a top speed of 190 km/h, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 8,3 seconds and even with a flat tire you can still drive 30 kilometers at 80 km/h.
How are armored limousines checked?
There are three in Germany to check the safety of vehicles proof offices. These test centers have decided to "Association of test centers for attack-resistant materials and construction" (VPAM) together. Depending on the model and class, the security vehicles are shot at up to 500 times with different ballistics in the ballistics center in Ulm. Either from a gunner or a weapon launch facility. When analyzing the weak points, special attention is paid to the edges, hinges and connecting parts. The armor plates specially made for the special vehicles are already being made before installing in the car subjected to a material test. In this way, bullet resistance is checked twice.
Firing with revolvers and assault rifles
The resistance of a vehicle is determined according to the VPAM-BRV met. This abbreviation stands for "VPAM Bullet Resistant Vehicles" (Eng. bulletproof vehicles) and they exist in the test stages VR1 to VR10. Depending on how bullet-resistant the panes and panels are. If an armored vehicle a VR4 protective case (about the Special protection vehicles based on the Volvo XC60 and XC90) it can be fired at with a .44 Magnum revolver without the bullets penetrating. At a VR7 certification (effect like that CLASS® Rolls-Royce Phantom) the security vehicle keeps up with a shot from an automatic rifle NATO ammunition was standing. These reach an impact speed of up to 900 m/s (3.240 km/h). And with one VR10 armor even hard-core ammunition fired from an assault rifle bounces off.
Thorough examination with grenades and explosives
The test centers also take a test with them explosives and hand grenades before. After all, such weapons are frequently in use throughout the world. The examiners detonate an explosive mixture weighing approximately 12,5 kg right next to the special vehicle to be checked. In other attempts, a hand grenade lies under and on top of the vehicle. This means that every vehicle must withstand a special load of military equipment before it is used for personal protection.
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