Ford Police Interceptors can stop armor-piercing bullets with its Type IV Ballistic Panels

Article by Christian A., on March 14, 2016

Ford revealed that it will provide ballistic panels on the Ford Police Interceptor sedan and utility with protection from armor-piercing (AP) rifle ammunition. Ford North America Fleet General Marketing Manager for Lease and Remarketing Operations Raj Sarkar said that the car maker has always been known for improving the safety of its police-friendly models.

Sarkar boasted that it has long been a trademark of Ford. In the US, the factory-equipped models are the first pursuit-rated police cars to come with ballistic protection up to the National Institute of Justice standard Type IV of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

According to the said standard, a Type IV ballistic panel shall be tested with .30 caliber AP bullets (US Military designation M2 AP) weighing 10.80 grams or 166 gr and having an 878 m/s ± 9.1 m/s or 2,889 ft/s ± 30 ft/s.

The number of shootout incidents between authorities and criminals using high-powered, AP rifle ammunition may be low but they are becoming more common nowadays. Ford Police Interceptors Chief Engineer Arie Goreneveld said that designing the Ford Police Interceptor models in accordance with the needs of police officers based on feedback is the primary reason the vehicles are prominent.

Officers around the world have expressed the need for vehicles that come with protection from AP ammunition, which is why Ford responded with a solution. The Type IV panels serve as optional features above and beyond Ford’s current ballistic panel protection.

In the US, optional Type III ballistic panels are already used. These are rated to protect vehicles and passengers from all handgun and non-AP bullets up to .30 caliber— specifically up to 7.62 mm x 51 mm NATO M80 ball ammunition, and special threat rounds specified by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

These new options are in addition to a wide array of existing safety features engineered especially for police officers’ use such as the Ford Police Interceptor safety cell construction, which contributes to structural integrity. The vehicles are also equipped with an advanced safety system that helps absorb a collision’s energy to keep the passengers from the impact forces of an accident.

Crumple zones are also strategically integrated into the vehicle’s bodywork to further absorb and dissipate the energy of a collision, reducing intrusion into the cabin. Materials such as aluminum, boron steel, and advanced plastics have been used to enhance the vehicle’s overall strength and firmness.

Other key safety features exclusively offered by Ford include police-tuned suspensions, unique police interiors, police brakes, 75-mph rear crash test rating, steel wheels, and numerous upfit options.

Press Release


Ford announced today it will offer ballistic panels on their Police Interceptor sedan and utility with protection from armor-piercing rifle ammunition.

“Ford is well-known in the police community for going further to enhance officer safety. It’s what our product is all about, first and foremost,” said Raj Sarkar, general marketing manager, Ford North American Fleet, Lease and Remarketing operations.

The factory-equipped vehicles are the first pursuit-rated police vehicles in the United States to offer ballistic protection up to Department of Justice’s (DoJ) National Institute of Justice standard Type IV.

According to the Department of Justice standard, the description of a Type IV ballistic panel is:

“Type IV hard armor or plate inserts shall be tested in a conditioned state with .30 caliber armor piercing (AP) bullets (U.S. Military designation M2 AP) with a specified mass of 10.8 g (166 gr) and a velocity of 878 m/s ± 9.1 m/s (2880 ft/s ± 30 ft/s).”

While the number of shootouts between police and criminals using high-powered, armor-piercing rifle ammunition is low, they are unfortunately becoming more common.

“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.

The Type IV panels are an additional option above and beyond existing ballistic panel protection offered by Ford.

Optional Type III ballistic panels are already on duty in agencies around the United States and are rated to protect against all handgun and non-armor piercing bullets up to .30 caliber (specifically up to 7.62mm x 51mm NATO M80 ball ammunition) as well as special threat rounds identified by the Los Angeles Police Department.

The optional ballistic panels are in addition to a long list of existing features aimed at protecting officers, including Ford Police Interceptor safety cell construction to aid structural integrity.

In the event of a crash, advanced safety technology helps to absorb the energy of the collision and to direct the impact forces away from the occupants. Additionally, crumple zones are strategically placed in the frame or body of the vehicle, further absorbing and dissipating the energy of a crash to reduce intrusion into the occupant compartment.

Innovative materials – such as aluminum, advanced plastics and boron steel – also contribute to vehicle strength.

Other examples of Ford’s commitment to officer safety include a 75-mph rear crash test rating, police-tuned suspensions, police brakes, steel wheels, unique police interiors as well as a range of upfit options.

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