Beastly Beauties on Road - Prime Ministerial Car
These vehicles are escorted by the SPG in five armored black BMW X5s and multiple Tata Safaris which carry all the equipment, weaponry and personnel required for security of the PM. Apart from these, the convoy consists of an ambulance and a fire engine. In general, when the PM moves across the capital, the convoy is 20-25 cars strong, a number which multiplies several times when PM is out of the capital. While one of the cars would carry the PM, other three are decoy vehicles and all the four even carry same number plates to ensure no uniqueness to the car that carries PM. All these vehicles are managed, maintained and secured by Special Protection Group (SPG) that is responsible for the security of PM.
Drivers for this secure wheel are trained specially by BMW as part of its 'Training for Professionals' course. This training teaches the ways of vehicle control in extreme conditions under the guidance of highly experienced instructors in the security field. Drivers are trained for extremely sophisticated escape manoeuvres such as the slalom in reverse and the tactical turn in double formation.
While what's visible to the eye will wow the entire President's men, it is what is hidden—the car's incredible safety features—that actually makes the car a Presidential limousine. The heavily armored vehicle is ballistic resistant. Not only can it prevent penetration of gunshots from military rifles, it is also designed to withstand grenade attacks and fragments from explosives. The protection systems in the vehicle are in line with the best weapon technologies. The car is tested for protection against AK 47, M 67 US hand grenade, 3 X DM hand grenade and parcel bombs. The windshields and windows have 60 mm polycarbonate coating glass and act as a splinter shield. The 90-litre fuel tank is self-sealing and there is an automatic fire extinguisher system on board, just in case. The limousine is equipped with Tele Aid that uses GPS tracking and cell phone service to provide assistance. An automatic call is made for help if any of the eight dual-stage air bags or seat belt tensioners gets deployed. Also, there is an emergency fresh air system that filters the air and pumps it back into the cabin. The Michelin Pax 'bullet-proof' tires can continue to drive for 30 km at 80km/hr. with a total loss of air pressure. The car also has a panic alarm system that can be triggered from any seat. Once activated, all doors are automatically locked. The President or his staff can, without opening the windows or doors, speak to people around the car by an integrated communication system with interior and exterior microphones. The car also has a rear surveillance camera that provides the entire field of view, alerting the limousine driver in case of an ambush from behind. The vehicle's armor and the bevy of equipment factory-fitted equipment make it very heavy. Hence, it is powered by a brute of a V12 bi-turbo engine. If the chauffeur floors the accelerator after turning on the ignition, it can hit 0-100 km/h in 6.7 seconds flat.
So for all those curious, we in India provide the best combination of luxury and security when our leaders travel on roads. And none of this can be considered as an overhead or an avoidable expense. Being at the helm of the hierarchy of this vast nation, these leaders do work in a vulnerable environment with eminent threats ready to showcase themselves at an iota of complacency. We ought to provide the best of available vehicles to ensure that these leaders are as secure on roads as they are in their offices as not only the lives of leaders are in question here but also the reputation of us as a country. Any successful attack on these two leaders would simply mean that this great nation cannot afford or ensure the security of its top leaders and this is not something that we want to hear from our friends abroad.