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A Beast of a bodyguard to keep US President safe during his India visit

Impregnable windows, bomb-resistant exterior, on-board medical supplies and a real pro at the wheels make the Cadillac limo Donald Trump's very own fortress

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

The Beast
The Beast (Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

Donald Trump is arriving in India on February 24 – and he’s bringing The Beast with him. The limousine worth $1.56 million was presented to the US President in 2018, replacing the previous Cadillac One, used by Barack Obama. Interestingly, for most world leaders, the limousine is an essential component of a grand entry. While Queen Elizabeth II travels in her Bentleys, Japan's Emperor prefers a Toyota Century. For German Chancellor Angela Merkel it's got to be armoured Mercedes-Benz and Audi limos, while a Hongqi L5 works fine with Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and an Aurus Senat goes well with Russia President Vladimir Putin. Over the years, US presidents have been loyal to General Motors' Cadillac. From Ronald Reagan to Obama, and now Trump, the vehicle of choice has been a Cadillac limo. Here's all you need to know about Donald Trump's monster car 'The Beast' Make: Cadillac Category: Armoured Limousine The Beast The Beast (Photo: Wikipedia Commons) A brief history of US Presidents' cars and 'The Beast' William Taft was the first president to switch from horse-drawn carriages to horsepower in 1909. The US Congress bought three cars -- a Pierce-Arrow, a Baker electric and a steam-powered Model M from The White Motor Company. Franklin D Roosevelt had several private cars and was the first to have a car designed specifically for him. John F Kennedy’s Lincoln Continental Convertible was greatly admired until he was assassinated while riding in it. President Herbert Hoover introduced the first Cadillac. George W Bush's car was nicknamed "The Beast", a nomenclature that persisted through the presidency of Barack Obama and now Trump. When did Trump's 'The Beast' debut? Trump’s presidential car made first run on September 2018. Prior to the latest model, President Obama rode around in his 'Beast', launched on January 20, 2009. The Beast features The latest model of The Beast comes with a satellite phone, puncture-resistant tyres, tear gas cannons, bullet-proof windows and pump-action shotguns. It was commissioned by the Secret Service in 2014 and weighs around 20,000 pounds. Security features The Secret Service is careful not to reveal too many features of the vehicle for security reasons. However, according to reports, the car has been designed to help the President survive virtually every possible form of attack from a terrorist or assassin.

If he gets injured, the vehicle has an extensive range of medical supplies on board, including a refrigerator full of Trump’s own blood type. Reportedly, The Beast combines a variety of different technologies, starting out with a heavily modified platform from a Chevrolet Kodiak (heavy-duty GM truck). Is it foolproof? Nothing is foolproof. However, The Beast is apparently the closest thing to being so. Its windows are built with more than five layers of glass and polycarbonate. The windows and doors are bullet-proof and do not open. In fact, the only window that does open is the driver’s, and by just three inches. The doors weigh as much as the cabin door of a Boeing 757. Tyres are puncture-resistant. The inner body of this monster car is made up of steel, ceramic and titanium plates, which protect the vehicle from bombs. The driver's cabin has proper communication and a GPS tracking centre. The vehicle's front has tear gas grenade launchers and night vision cameras. The rear seat has a satellite phone with a direct line to the US vice-president and Pentagon. A glass partition separates the driver and the president, and only Trump has the switch to lower it. Driver The driver is trained by the US Secret Service to cope with challenging conditions. The highly skilled chauffeur is trained to make emergency escapes and evasions. and can do 180-degree turns. The Beast The Beast (Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

The Beast features * Windows: Five layers of glass and polycarbonate, can withstand armour piercing bullets. * Only driver's window can open * Defence add-ons: Hidden pump-action shotguns, tear gas cannons. Blood bags for President * Body: Five-inch thick military-grade armour of steel, titanium, aluminium and ceramics * Front: Tear gas grenade launchers and night vision cameras * Chauffeur: Trained by US Secret Service, can do 180-degree turns * Rear seat: Satellite phone with a direct line to vice-president and Pentagon * Interior: Partitioned by glass; has panic button, oxygen supply * Fuel tank: Armour-plated, filled with explosion-preventing foam * Doors: Armour-plated, 8 inches thick, protects it against chemical weapons * Tyres: Steel rims and puncture-resistant * Car boot: Tear gas, firefighting system, smoke screen dispensers

First Published: Sat, February 22 2020. 08:19 IST