Ford claims to be the first automaker in the States to offer Type IV ballistic protection on its factory-equipped Police Interceptor sedan and utility vehicles.
Type IV means that it complies with the Department of Justice's (DoJ) National institute of Justice standard as described below:
"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)", wrote the department.
While the number of shootouts between criminals using armor-piercing rifle ammunition and police is low, they are (unfortunately) becoming more common: "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", commented Ford Police Interceptors chief engineer, Arie Groeneveld.
The manufacturer is offering the Type IV panels as an additional option to the existing ballistic panel protection. Optional Type III ballistic panels are already "on the job" in agencies across the United States and they can protect against all handgun and non-armor piercing bullets of up to .30 caliber.
Panels are available in addition to a long list of features that protect officers, including the safety cell construction to air structural integrity, which, in the event of a crash, helps absorb energy and direct impact forces away from the occupants. Contributing to the vehicles' strength are special materials such as boron steel, advanced plastics and aluminum.
Interceptors also benefit from a long list of other features like the police-tuned suspension systems and brakes, steel wheels, unique interiors and a 75 mph (120 km/h) rear crash test rating.