Photo: via Wikimedia Commons
At a cost of over $300,000 and enough armour to stop an RPG, the President’s ground vehicle is a very resilient ride.
It looks like a Caddy STS on the outside, but on the inside it has everything the Secret Service needs to protect their boss from threats he may face on the road.
It’s so up-armoured and filled with gear, agents call it The Beast.
On the road it’s surrounded by a motorcade of up to 30 other vehicles, including local police, The Beast’s decoy, a mobile communications centre, press, and other armed vehicles.
In the Service's early days, the presidential vehicle wasn't exactly secure — the carriage was open, and horses can only gallop so fast.
The invention of the car was a huge step, but the desire to be close to their constituents kept presidents in danger
After President John F. Kennedy's death, the Secret Service gave itself a top-to-bottom policy overhaul, and open cars got the boot.
The run-flat tires are Kevlar-enforced, puncture- and shred-resistant ... but if they do get punctured, the steel wheels can keep rolling.
Of course, it's the steel, aluminium, titanium, and ceramic body that makes Caddy One a moving fortress.
The security layers are carefully installed, and several features overlap so there isn't a single weak spot.
The Secret Service won't discuss details about the windows, but Discovery spoke to International Armoring Corporation, which makes similar windows.
The first few glass layers can absorb a bullet, while the inner plastic layers essentially catch the bullet like a baseball glove.
Mark Burton, the company's CEO, also demonstrated that JFK probably would have survived, had he had armoured windows Nov. 22, 1963.
One asset that doesn't slow the car down is the staff of agents who go through intense training before getting behind the wheel.
And the counter snipers that line every route, to keep the agents on the ground from having to use all of Caddy One's features.
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