By on March 11, 2016

Machine gun practice, Iraq

Sure, most (if not all) cop cars offer protection from boring ol’ pistols and AR-15s. But if you’re looking to drive into a hail of armor-piercing .30-caliber rifle or machine gun fire, Ford’s got your back.

The company announced yesterday that its Police Interceptor vehicles will now offer the highest level of ballistic protection among pursuit-rated vehicles.

Ford says the plates inserted inside the doors of its pursuit vehicles will meet the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) National Institute of Justice standard Type IV. The move is a bonus for police officers and delivers bragging rights to Ford, given that pursuit vehicles from other automakers only meet Type III specifications. Poseurs.

It’s also a move that could boost exports to other countries.

The fact that we design our Police Interceptors around officer feedback is what has made them number one,” said Arie Groeneveld, chief engineer for Ford Police Interceptors, in a statement. “Officers globally told us they needed protection from armor piercing ammunition and we added increased ballistic protection to an already great product…”

Police departments can’t outfit their vehicles like the ones seen in the last 10 minutes of any A-Team episode, so the armor has to be discreetly hidden away inside the body. It can be a tight fit, meaning the use of modern materials is key.

The protective panels in the Ford Police Interceptors are made of ceramic and a Kevlar-type material but still add significant weight to the vehicle’s doors, requiring Ford to test-slam them 100,000 times to ensure the hinges could handle the added stress.

According to the feds, achieving Type IV ballistic protection means a panel has to be able to stop an armor-piercing, 166-grain 7.62 mm NATO round.

A Type III designation implies protection from small arms fire up to and including a non-armor-piercing 7.62 mm round, which is why it’s common to see officers using their opened doors as cover from potential gunfire. As a side note, that particular cartridge has more ballistic oomph than those used in the AR-15 and AK-47, meaning Type III armor ain’t all that bad.

It’s hard to not see Ford’s announcement as a critique of American culture, but there’s a bright side to it all. Having Fords with Iowa-class armor means smaller police departments won’t have to crowdfund a military-grade armored car.

[Source: USA Today, Associated Press]

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36 Comments on “Ford Wants to be Your War Zone Companion...”

  • avatar

    Give me a bulletproof, IED resistent Jeep SRT with a HELLCAT motor and I’ll deliver ISIS’ leaders to you on a spit.

    • 0 avatar

      It wouldn’t be a Jeep you’d recognize or likely want to drive. Plus you’d have to wear a Kevlar helmet and eyepro whenever you drove anywhere, and you would need ground guides to help you park.

    • 0 avatar

      Just make sure the firmware for the ABS systems and power steering pumps reflect the fact that officers running code sometimes exceed 100 mph. A lot of officers discovered that handling their 1990s FoMoCo cruisers got really squirrelly past the triple digits the hard way.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      Yeaaah…because a lack of IED resistant vehicles was the problem. And I want aware jeeps were equipped with a V hull. Oh yeah, if you are looking for IEDs clearance speed is 3-5 mph so the hellcat seems a waste.

  • avatar

    Does that now means in a few years, these type IV armored vehicles will be available for the public to buy?

  • avatar

    I love how there’s a giant bottle of CLP to the gunner’s left in the first pic.

    • 0 avatar

      ” a giant bottle of CLP” Yup, it’s the only stuff I use, buy it by the gallon, Cleaner Lubricant Protector, and soak my weapons in them when cleaning them.

      The stuff ain’t cheap, but indisputably the very best.

      • 0 avatar

        CLP is not the very best, in my experience. It’s just OK at all the things it tries to do. It’s probably the best at corrosion protection, which is the primary reason I keep some on hand. I’ve found other products to be far superior as cleaners and lubricant, as have many military and LE units who use something else. (Slip 2000 EWL, TW25B, as lube examples)

  • avatar

    Slightly related (but not really), I was reading in a book on Ford history that Ford, along with Willys-Overland, built Jeeps as part of it’s contribution to the war effort.

    I remembered my boys had a jeep their toy box, so I went to raid it. Not only was there a jeep, but the Miasto diecast was labeled a Ford GP. So now Ford’s contribution to war effort is included in my timeline. (The diecast is jacked up too high, and is not 100% accurate, but it works.)[email protected]/25629917725

  • avatar

    “Officers globally told us they needed protection from armor piercing ammunition and we added increased ballistic protection to an already great product…”

    Yeah, exactly no one else globally, asked for this, because besides Canada these things aren’t exported. Oh wait a minute, Saudi Arabia and the UAE might use them.

  • avatar

    You know an email written to Ford customer care by some suburban serial killer/mass shooter about how an armored Ford patrol vehicle is their transport of preference because it is fast and well armored against light weapons fire might not be the sort of notorious yet positive press that the fabled Bonnie and Clyde Ford letter was.

    • 0 avatar

      “Fabled” is correct terminology. The Henry Ford Museum’s curators will change the subject when asked about how they authenticated the purported Barrow and Dillinger letters. They’re just part of the Ford legend.

  • avatar

    Being that Dearborn is close to Detroit. Ford might have the edge on R and D for violence against interceptors.

  • avatar

    Now we will have to prohibit the export of new Fords, so ISIS does not get ahold of them.
    But if they do, they aren’t drone missile proof…

    • 0 avatar

      On that note, that’s a sweet pic of Iraqi soldiers at the top. Since it was taken, you can bet those M240s were only dropped once and never fired in anger until they were picked up by a grateful ISIS.

  • avatar

    But what if the baddies have Stopping Power turned on?

    …COD anyone?

  • avatar

    and the cops give no shits about their cars. saw a LASD deputy shut the door on his CVPI by sitting in the drivers seat, and *kicking* the door out, so it would rebound shut.

    im sure thats great for the hinges.

  • avatar

    A car door won’t stop a .22, and cop cars are not armored.

    • 0 avatar

      I was wondering about that… I know 22lr minimags will punch through a washing machine so I assume normal car doors are about as thick and I was unaware normal cop cars were level III armored…

    • 0 avatar

      At the last county auction I went to one of the Crown Vics up for sale had a couple of bullet holes in the door. They looked like they could have been in the range of a .22. Note there was not hole in the interior panel but that may have been replaced.

      Cop cars can be armored, the agency just has to order it that way. Level III protection is not standard. Ford did offer ballistic protection as an option for the doors on the Crown Vic, just not as high as rated as their new offering. Just like they offered integrated roll over protection on the CV that was very rarely ordered.

      • 0 avatar

        Vehicles are not a homogeneous medium. Exactly where a particular round hits will make a great deal of difference in the results. Think about a car door: in some places it’s just two relatively thin pieces of sheet metal and maybe some hard plastic door liners. But there are also window elevators, window motors, speakers, strengthening braces, electronic lock actuators, the lock mechanism itself, etc.

        Police cars in general are most certainly *not* armored. A typical handgun will punch through a single cruiser door with little problem unless it hits something very hard like the aforementioned electronic motors, structural bracing, etc.

        If you are curious about what bullets do to cars, there is a writeup online called “The Buick O’ Truth” that is a pretty good illustration.

  • avatar

    So are we back to the whole zombie apocalypse schtick here? How does it hold up against a Ma Deuce?

    Seriously, armoring the passenger compartment is nice and all, but how survivable is the engine under fire? I don’t care how much armor is in the doors, if the thing won’t drive you won’t survive.

    • 0 avatar

      Anything short of a .50 BMG hit to the engine block is unlikely to immediately incapacitate the vehicle, so it will still be mobile. At least long enough to hopefully move out of the ambush.

      Measures like armor plates in the door are not about indefinite invulnerability to hostile fire. These measures buy seconds, precious seconds which can mean the difference between life and death.

      It’s similar to police body armor in that respect.

    • 0 avatar

      All right, you armor your engine compartment and I’ll armor my passenger compartment. I can fight back since I’m still alive. You ?

  • avatar

    They’re betting on the worst damage being a holed radiator which means the car will still be able to drive out of the firezone even if its a mile or two away from danger… as long as the car can get away from immediate danger that’s all that’s neccessary… also, run flat tyres?

  • avatar

    Seems a waste of money to me. All the baddie has to do is aim a bit higher. There is no mention of bullet proof glass.

  • avatar

    Maybe we should all just started reading Ford press releases:

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