BAE Systems to armour vehicles for US Government
The US Government has placed a $10m order for heavily armoured versions of Chevrolet and Toyota cars that incorporate the same technology as military vehicles but look no different to commercial models.
Under the contract, BAE Systems will modify 100 vehicles including Chevrolet Suburbans and Toyota Land Cruisers to incorporate the sort of systems usually deployed in combat zones.
Basic models purchased directly from the original manufacturers will be shipped to BAE Systems’ site in Cincinnati, Ohio where armour and other security features will be installed. Production is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2009.
BAE Systems describes the armoured version of the Chevrolet Suburban, which it offers in a luxury ‘VIP’ trim, as one of the most popular armoured vehicles in use by government agencies. As well as the multi-layered ballistic glass and reinforced floor provided as basic features, optional extras include a protected fuel tank, fire suppression system and ramming bumpers.
According to Tony Russell, BAE Systems’ vice president of vehicle armour, that doesn’t mean they’ll stand out from their counterparts on display in public showrooms. "With our expertise in leveraging these technologies, the vehicles are indistinguishable from their unarmoured counterparts, providing extra security to the occupants,” he said.