WASHINGTON: Air Force One is the world’s most sophisticated aircraft; the Beast – the armoured limousine for the world’s most powerful leader – is no slouch. President Barack Obama arrives in Delhi on Sunday morning. The Beast – and a stand-in – have arrived in a special aircraft and are parked at Delhi’s international airport.
Here are 10 facts about the Beast:
It looks like a Cadillac, but that is it. It is not really a derivative of the Cadillac DTS as it seems, since it only borrows styling from that model. Underneath the limo exterior is a Chevrolet Kodiak – which is a medium sized truck (sort of the same size as our Tata 407, but more sophisticated)!
Anyone can buy an armoured limo. Yes BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz even sell those in India. The Beast goes well beyond regular armouring with an 8-inch thick body plating and 5-inch thick bulletproof windows. The car itself weighs 8 tonnes.
The doors swing on special heavy-duty hinges as they weigh as much as doors on a Boeing 757 aircraft.
The massive weight needs every horsepower the 6.5 litre Duramax diesel engine can offer. The Beast uses this diesel truck engine since it can take to varying purity levels of the more commonly available fuel type globally.
It’s a 7-seater – yup just like all “family MPVs”! So this one can accommodate POTUS, his driver, chief Secret Service agent and four others too. So FLOTUS, the girls and grandma maybe?!
Goodyear makes special Kevlar-coated run-flat tyres for the Beast – to withstand puncture and even run when shot out.
The fuel tank is covered with a special foam that prevents any impact-related explosion. It’s boot has special oxygen tanks and firefighting equipment.
In the event of a chemical attack, the car cuts off outside air completely, and keeps the cabin supplied with breathable air until it is safe to open the doors again.
Night vision cameras, teargas cannons and a shotgun are standard on the Beast. It also houses a special compartment to hold pouches of POTUS’ blood type.
It runs with Washington DC plates – everywhere it goes