Facts about President Obama’s official car ‘The Beast’
As President Barack Obama arrives in Kenya Friday ahead of the 6th Global Entrepreneurship Summit, the US security have taken over the venues where he is expected to make addresses.
Earlier some of the official transportation vehicles arrived into the country amid heightened security and among them is the ‘The Beast’ as it is fondly called.
Here are some facts about the vehicle tipped to be the most secure road transport vessel in the world;
1. It has its own transportation plane. The US security uses a C-17 Globemaster aircraft to airlift The Beast when the President is travelling. A second limo and a heavily armored Chevrolet Suburban communications vehicle is also airlifted to the country the president is visiting.
2. It is the most armored car in the world. The Beast’s armor plating is said to be 8 inches thick and its doors weigh as much as those on a Boeing 757 aircraft. All the windows are bulletproof and of 5 inches thickness and its Goodyear tires are Kevlar-reinforced run-flats tires, made of steel layers to keep it running in case of an attack.
There are tear gas canisters, shotguns and, supposedly, grenade launchers, integrated into The Beast. Its interior is completely sealed off and noise insulated while the trunk has firefighting equipment and oxygen tanks along with a cache of the President’s blood type. Its fuel tank is also amour-plated to help repel bullets.
3. It has a twin. The actual Beast has an identical car that travels together with it to create a distraction as well as other cars that look like them. Both the Beasts are functionally identical, while the rest of the vehicle looks like the Beast, but are used to carry other high ranking Government officials and state guests. There are 12 Beasts in service.
4. It is driven by the most qualified drivers. The drivers are also from the Secret Service and are trained by General Motors engineers and test drivers at a highly secluded and unknown place. Among the areas of training are high speed evasion techniques and all other tight curves like the J-turn.
5. It can carry seven passengers. The car is allowed a minimum number of three people; the driver, the president’s lead Secret Service protective agent in the front passenger seat and the President himself.
But that’s not the seating capacity of the President’s car as four additional seats are available, enabling the car to carry seven people in total.
6. It runs on diesel. Its fuel is transported whenever the vehicle is being airlifted to the country the President is visiting. It runs on Duramax diesel engine that also powers the Chevrolet and GMC’s full-size heavy duty pickup trucks.
7. It is very heavy. It weighs more than 8000kgs and since that kind of weight requires a top notch engine, the engine enables it to hit 0-100 kmph in 15 seconds and the vehicle has a mileage of 2 kmpl.