Stopping perpetrators and protecting police officers just became even bigger business at Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F].

The automaker announced today that its Police Interceptor sedan and utility models will both be available with ballistic panels capable of protecting the vehicle's occupants from armor-piercing rifle ammunition.

The Police Interceptor sedan is a heavily-modified Taurus, while the utility is a similarly-outfitted Explorer. Both look the same as their consumer siblings from the outside, but as today's announcement confirms, the differences go deep.

The ballistic panels will be rated at up to Department of Justice's standard Type IV, which, according to the agency's detailed description, means: “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).”

In laymen's terms, that means that the available protection will exceed the Type III panels currently offered by Ford and selected by certain police departments across the country, including the Los Angeles Police Department.

Ford says that its cars are the first pursuit-rated police vehicles in the United States to be offered with this degree of ballistic protection.


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