Monday, April 28, 2014

8 Things You Need to Know about 'The Beast' - US Presidential Limousine

First, let me welcome Mr. Barack Obama! Although I doubt he'll have time to read this, let me share you 8 awesome things you will find VERY interesting in the Presidential Limousine called 'The Beast'.

1) 'The Beast'
We'll get into the details later and let you know why this Limo's nickname is 'The Beast'. The call sign of the vehicles the US President uses varies. This Limo is also called 'Cadillac One' or 'Limo One'. They add a suffix 'One' whenever the President is on it. For example, when the US President is on his private jumbo jet, the call sign of the plane would be changed to Airforce One. As seen earlier on the live telecast, from the Airforce One, he went straight to his chopper with call sign 'Marine One'. So the limousine with the President on it is called 'Limo One' or 'Cadillac One'.

2) Private Airplane for 'The Beast'
Since he is one of the most powerful person in the world, you wouldn't just expect him to ride just any vehicle. The US President, more often than not, brings his own vehicle 'The Beast' wherever he goes. How? The vehicle has its own aircraft, a C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft that transports 'The Beast', another limo and a heavily armored Chevrolet Suburban communications vehicle. The nickname of the armored Suburban is 'Roadrunner'. It's a rolling communications office directly linked to a military satellite - hence the dome-shaped structure on top of its roof.

3) Armor of 'The Beast'
I haven't come across an armored vehicle better than this. With a combination of dual hardness steel, aluminum, titanium and even ceramic armor plating that is 8-inch thick, the weight of the door has the same weight of a Boeing 757 cabin door. Bus size, kevlar-reinforced, shred and puncture resistant,  run-flat tires will keep 'The Beast' running for quite a distance and the interiors are completely sealed off in case of biochemical attacks. The fuel tank has also a special foam armor that insulates it in case of impact. Underneath it is a 5-inch reinforced steel plates for protection in the unlikely event of a bomb being placed underneath.

4) What's inside 'The Beast'
Well, honestly, no one has a complete inventory of what's inside but it is said that inside, it has fire fighting equipment, oxygen tanks, a cache/bottle of the President's blood type, tear gas cannons, pump action shotguns, night vision goggles, and it even has an integrated grenade launcher. That is one car you wouldn't want to mess around with.

5) How many can ride in 'The Beast'
At the very least, that car rolls with at least 3 passengers (Driver, Secret Service Lead Agent, and the President). The rear portion can hold 5 passengers. 3 rear-facing spots on a bench and one spot next to the president. Also, it has glass partition which only the President can lower. Sometimes, the president travels in a heavily-armored Chevrolet Suburban or a modified Prevost bus known as the 'Ground Force One' with the Presidential seal on the side.

6) Similarities with the common car
Although it looks like a Cadillac DTS, this is far from the standard production car as you can see. Its chassis, diesel engine and transmission are similar to those used in the Chevrolet Kodiak (a rugged commercial vehicle used as everything like a dump truck). It runs on diesel because aside from the durability associated with diesel engines, the fuel has low volatility reducing the risk of explosion and it can be found everywhere in the world compared to high quality unleaded fuel. Many body components are sourced from a variety of Cadillac vehicles; for example, the car uses Cadillac Escalade headlights, side mirrors and door handles. The tail of the car seems to use the taillights and back up lights from the Cadillac STS sedan

7) The driver of 'The Beast'
Since 'The Beast' has more in common with a school bus than any cars that looks like it, the driver of 'The Beast' is highly trained. He can execute tight turns, J-turns and other police-style evasion techniques in case of necessity. These secret service drivers have undergone extensive CIA training in a secret military base with inputs from GM engineers and test drivers.

8) Other info about 'The Beast'
Since it's carrying around 20,000 pounds of armor, the diesel engine can't make it perform like a sports car. Hitting speeds of 100kph requires around 15 seconds for it to completely stop. And by the way, that is also said to be the top speed of 'The Beast' -- 100kph. Diesel fuel consumption? around 2-3 kilometers per liter.

The President also has a foldaway desktop and laptop computer with Wi-Fi in his seat, a satellite phone and direct line to the Vice President and the Pentagon. The storage compartments in the interior panels of the car contain communications equipment which is called the Limousine Control Package and is operated by the White House Communications Agency. This is the voice and data device that links the vehicle to the WHCA Roadrunner at the rear of the motorcade allowing command and control (or "C2") functions to be performed from the limo.

Cost: Roughly 22,500,000 million pesos
Length: 18 feet
Height: 5 feet 10 inches
Weight: 2.6 tons
Engine: 6.5 liter diesel engine
Max Speed: 100kph
0-100kph: In 15 seconds

Image sources:
#5- Wikipedia
#6- Wikipedia
#7- Wikipedia
#8- Wikipedia

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