More often, we deliver armored vehicle driver service to our clients and their international assignees/expat employees relocating or on assignments. For our clients, the main reason is to prevent kidnapping, carjacking, or robbery attempts.
Armored vehicles come in many different protection levels and look. We most often provider SUV or MPV vehicles. However, we have also delivered armored Toyota Corollas for clients interested in a low key and anonymous vehicle.
An armored car is a civilian vehicle with a reinforced structure that is designed to protect its occupants from assaults, bullets, and blasts. Armored vehicles are typically manufactured with bulletproof glass and layers of armor plating, often with a variety of other defensive mechanisms and features to aid the individuals inside. Unlike military armored vehicles, a civilian armored car is designed to be inconspicuous and similar to its factory version.
Armored vehicles are used internationally and often used to protect high-profile individuals such as world leaders, political figures, businesspersons, and VIPs.
The most famous armored vehicle is President Trump's "The Beast."
Frequent upgrades featured on armored cars are replacing the windows with bulletproof glass and inserting layers of armor plate under the outer skin of the vehicle. Materials such as Aramid, Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, composites, or ballistic stainless steel plates are often used. The exterior of the car is usually designed to be indistinguishable from an un-armored model, although some vehicles may appear discrete.
Besides the armor itself, many other protective modifications are available: automatic fire extinguishers, run-flat tyres, an explosive-resistant fuel tank, electric door handles, smoke screens, road tack dispensing systems, remote starting of the car, CCTV Vehicle Camera Systems, GPS link, pressure and temperature control of the tyres, a siren or alarm, and an intercom between the exterior and interior of the car, and a PA system, so that bodyguards or protection officers inside the vehicle can communicate via a megaphone to individuals outside the vehicle. The inside of the car can be sealed or pressurized and instead use its dedicated oxygen supply to protect against biological attacks, such as poison gas or tear gas. As a side benefit, armored cars give occupants added protection from intrusion during car accidents.
When considering an armored car, not all are created equal — the first step to deciding on an armored vehicle in determining your ideal protection level. The protection level you need depends on a few factors. First is how you will be using the car and the perceived threat level. Will the vehicle be used for tactical purposes or day-to-day activities? Also, factors like cost, vehicle type, and the number of passengers all affect the level of protection needed.
A ballistic protection level tells you how much security a certain level of armor can provide – or rather, the level of assault that it can withstand. A commonly followed (and the one we will discuss) benchmark is the EN 1063 standard set forth by the European Committee for Standardization (BR1-BR7). But there are others such as the National Institute of Justice, British Ballistic Standard, and German DIN that share protection requirements. Ballistic standards exist to make sure that armor consistently meets these pre-set conditions.
The level of a security threat due to a gun generally depends on the shape, composition, caliber, mass, and velocity of the bullet. To determine the standards, tests are performed using specific firearms to ensure that the glazed shielding must stop a specified number of bullets placed within 12 centimeters of each other. To comply, the glass must be shatterproof and not crack or flake after impact.
Ballistic Protection Levels
B1-B2 Although able to withstand a 9mm, these two classes are rarely employed within armored vehicles.
B3-B4 These classes can withstand an assault from weapons, including sporting rifles and handguns—generally guns that are shot at a close distance and lower bullet velocity, such as a .357 Magnum (B3) or .44 Magnum (B4).
B5 This rating protects AK-47s and other assault weapons and requires a ballistic steel thickness of at least 7.5 mm.
B6 This rating has a high level of security and is meant to stop armor-piercing rounds. This is among the most popular protection levels as it is still straightforward to implement while adding an enormous security advantage.
B7 The most robust protection often offered, the B7 protection level stops various armor-piercing rounds fired from super high-velocity rifles, even sniper rifles. This is, in many cases, the highest possible protection available within civilian-grade armored vehicles, although special purpose vehicles can and frequently do accommodate higher protection levels.
Remember, a median needs to be found when selecting a protection level as more armor equals more weight. If a vehicle’s performance is hindered to the point where escape becomes difficult, no amount of armor will benefit its occupants.
ExpatRide's global mobility car service program provides our clients with a tailored vehicle and chauffeur solution. The service includes all coordination and direct billing. We can assist in worldwide www.ExpatRide.com
Sources for the above information: Wikipedia and INKAS