Frequently Asked Questions
What is Ballistic Resistance?
Ballistic resistance refers to what type of gunfire the armored car is designed to protect against. Ballistic resistance is defined and organized according to levels of protection. There are several internationally recognized standards of ballistic resistance (NIJ, CEN, UL), and many armored car companies have designated their own levels of ballistic resistance that roughly correspond to the internationally recognized standards. The standards measure the caliber, mass, and velocity of the projectile, as well as the distance and angle that it is fired. As an example, the CEN standard begins at level 'B4', which is effective against 22 caliber bullets, and goes all the way up to 'B7', which is effective against armor piercing rounds. It's important to know and understand that an armored car is bullet resistant and not bullet proof. Special protection vehicles offer extensive protection against handguns and rifles. However due to the complex nature of vehicles design and contemporary weapon technology, 100% percent protection cannot be guaranteed
Why is weight so important?
Not surprisingly, there is a correlation between the level of ballistic resistance and additional weight that is placed on the armored car. Armoring a car can add anywhere from 300 to 2000 pounds and more to the vehicle's overall weight. This additional weight results in different handling characteristics, can negatively affect performance (acceleration, gas mileage, top end speed), and can require additional suspension and power train work.
What kind of Vehicle should I use?
Many armored car companies recommend using a heavier-duty vehicle as the starting point for the armoring, as they are easier to modify with heavy duty suspension, brakes, and so on. SUVs are often the armored car of choice, although many sedans make a good choice for additional armoring.
What is Opaque Armor?
Opaque armor refers to armor that is place within the body of the armored car- in the doors, pillar posts, side panels, kick-panels, firewall, engine compartment, headers, cargo area, rear wheel arches, rear cargo door, roof and floor. Opaque armor can be made of many different materials, including high-hardened ballistic steel, ballistic nylon, synthetic fibers, and other composite materials. Many of the synthetic materials are lighter than steel but stronger in certain applications.
What is Transparent Armor?
Transparent armor refers to armor that is placed within the window frames of the armored car. Transparent armor is usually composites of glass and polycarbonate substrates and laminated with inter layers. Most of the time, installing transparent armor means that the windows can no longer be opened, but some armored car companies offer the option of having armored windows that can open.
Why is Appearance so important?
One important anti-terror strategies is to keep the fact that the car is armored unknown to the casual or even trained observer. Knowing that a car is armored means that heavier equipment will be brought to bear on the target. Most armored cars are designed to hide the fact that they are in fact armored, but some have minor indications of their true nature.
What about Shipping?
We can assist with both Domestic and International shipping needs. We can process all the required Department of State’s export documents in-house.
What are the different types of protection?
Opaque armor is usually concealed under the carpet in armored cars to protect against explosions.
Opaque armor is installed on the roof; any sunroof will be fitted with transparent armor and usually rendered inoperative.
Fuel Tank Protection
Most armored car companies protect the fuel tank buy wrapping it with ballistic protection to prevent explosion and by providing locking caps to prevent tampering.
Most armored car companies give the option of replacing acid batteries with dry cell or other batteries that aren't at risk of exploding and causing damage to the engine.
Because of the increased weight of the armor in the armored car, the suspension, shocks and brakes will often have to be modified to accommodate the increased weight and provide acceptable performance.
Tires can be protected against blow out in a couple of different ways. One option is to have ballistic rubberized plastic rings placed inside each tire. If the tire ever loses its seal or becomes deflated, the ring, or roller, will act as a backup tire. Another method of tire protection is the use of auto-inflated tires, which have an integrated air pump that keeps the tires inflated in the event that they lose a seal or become deflated.
This option puts extra structural strength into the bumper, and allows the armored car to ram its way out of dangerous situations. It also prevents the corner of the bumper from being smashed into the tires and making the armored car undriveable.
Since the opaque armor will be placed in the door of the armored car, the door will weigh considerably more than the door support and hinges were designed for. Hardened plastic door risers and overextension straps can be used to increase support for the door.
Wire mesh is installed over the tail pipe to protect the armored car from backside intrusion.
Some armored car companies offer the option of audible tools such as sirens, P/A systems, and intercoms.
Some armored car companies offer the option of supplied oxygen and a sealable cabin to protect against gas or chemical threats.
This option adds additional armoring around the radiator to protect this vital engine component.