Ford Police Interceptor Now Offers Protection Against Armor-Piercing Ammo
Type IV ballistic panels protect against .30 caliber AP roundsby Mark McNabb, on
Ford is upping its game for its Police Interceptor sedan and utility vehicle. It recently announced the additional option of ballistic panels rated against armor-piercing rifle ammunition. These panels, designated Type IV protection by the U.S. Department of Justice, are above Ford’s already available Type III ballistic panels offered in both Police Interceptor vehicles.
This new level of protection shields officers from .30 caliber armor piercing bullets with a mass of 10.8 grams and a velocity of roughly 2,880 feet per second, commonly available for the Remington 700 hunting rifle and AK-47. While these rounds aren’t common on the streets, rising threat levels have agencies requesting better protection.
“The fact that we design our Police Interceptors around officer feedback is what has made them number one. Officers globally told us they needed protection from armor piercing ammunition and we added increased ballistic protection to an already great product – that’s continuous innovation,” said Arie Groeneveld, chief engineer, Ford Police Interceptors.
While that may be a heavily biased option from a Ford engineer, it’s unquestionable that Ford is taking major steps to keep law enforcement officers safe. Ford is the only automaker offering ballistics protection as a factory option on police vehicles.
Ford’s Type III ballistics panels are rated against all handgun and non-armor piercing rounds up to .30 caliber in size – most notably, the 7.62mm x 51mm NATO M80 ball ammunition most widely used in the AK-47. The panels also protect against “special threat” rounds identified by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Ford’s marketing hype aside, options like this are likely playing a huge role in making the police versions of the Taurus and Explorer so popular with departments. However, Ford better enjoy the unrivaled success while it lasts. Chevrolet and Dodge are surely developing their own measures to compete.
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Why it matters
Contrary to every Hollywood film, car doors are not bullet proof. Most ammo has no problem piercing the thin sheet metal of the door and the soft plastic of the interior door panel. Having ballistic panels greatly increases an officer’s chances of not getting shot when behind the door. Granted, Ford doesn’t offer bullet resistant windows, but the extra protection is better than nothing.
Read our full review about the 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility here.