All about the Cadillac Beast – The US President’s Limo
Every country’s head is the most important person across the globe. This is even more crucial when it comes to the highly developed country which has the world largest economy in the world. Keeping the president safe is the only job of the United States Secret Service. They are responsible for protecting him/her and his/her family no matter where they are in the world. The safety features include hundreds of secret service agents, Marine One helicopters, few Air Force One Aeroplanes, and the custom-built car, a 9,000-kilogram monster known as THE BEAST. Here are some interesting things about the United States President Donald Trump’s BEAST codenamed as “Stagecoach”.
Story of The Beast
It all started with a 1909 White Model M steam car used by William Howard Taft. From 1939 to 1972, the official President’s car was a Lincoln. The 1950 Lincoln Cosmopolitan was the first presidential vehicle to be incorporated with the bulletproof safety feature. It was used by Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy. Later, it was replaced by the Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham used by Ronald Reagan, followed by a line of Cadillacs till date.
After the assassination attempt of President Ford in 1975, as well as the 1981 assassination attempt of President Reagan, the secret service decided to build a presidential car from the ground. George W. Bush was the first president to use the Cadillac One state vehicle. He was the one who named the vehicle as THE BEAST and the same was updated in 2009 and used by Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
The Old Beast vs The New Beast
As I’ve mentioned earlier, the Cadillac One state vehicle aka. THE BEAST was updated during Obama’s inauguration in 2009. However, in 2014, General Motors (GM) was awarded three contracts for the new limousine. Each state car was expected to cost US$1–1.5 million, and by January 2016, GM had been paid $15,800,765 for its work on the new model (source – Wikipedia).
The current model debuted with a presidential trip to New York City on September 24, 2018. Road & Track described the state car as “massive and tall”, and weighed between 15,000–20,000 pounds (6,800–9,100 kg) (source – Wikipedia).
The Presidental Motorcade
The Presidental motorcade is one of the extravagant things you will ever see in your life. This is at another level when it is the US President’s motorcade. The US President’s motorcade consists of 25-45 vehicles. Here is the order of the motorcade.
The state police vehicle will go first to clear the route followed by some state police bikes. After a few minutes, the actual motorcade will arrive. Same like before, a fleet of state police cars/bikes will lead the motorcade to clear the route. Then comes the Chevrolet Suburban SUVs with some Secret Service agents. Next, the spare limo – THE BEAST for backup and decoy followed by THE BEAST with the president. The Beast will be followed by a security car with more Secret Service agents followed by an Electronic surveillance vehicle which will block all the signals to IEDs (improvised explosive device).
The latter part of the motorcade will be a fleet of Chevrolet Suburban SUVs with some key staffs including a doctor and a security car with RRT (Rapid Response Team). An ID car will follow the motorcade for communicating with counter-surveillance and intelligence. Then comes the Hazardous materials team to detect and deal with the chemical, biological and nuclear hazards.
The motorcade will also consist of some transport vehicles to carry more staffs, journalists and photographers followed by a communications car for maintaining contact with other agencies and an ambulance with a medical team and bags of President’s blood. Finally, the motorcade will end with a fleet of state police vehicles.
Here is a video of the United States President Trump’s motorcade with the brand new BEAST.
Inside the Beast
As I’ve mentioned earlier, the beast is “massive and tall”, and weighs between 15,000–20,000 pounds (6,800–9,100 kg). It is actually built upon a GM truck chassis. NBC reported that the car features armour made of aluminium, ceramic and steel. The exterior walls have a thickness of eight inches (200 mm), the windows are multi-layered and eight inches (203 mm) thick, and each door—believed to weigh as much as those on the Boeing 757—can electrify its handles to prevent entry (source – Wikipedia).
The interior of the beast is air-sealed against chemical and biological attack. The armoured limo also has an automatic-lock safety system that, in case of emergency, it seals off the entire car and a satellite phone that connects him to the Vice-President and the Pentagon. It also has a few bags of president’s blood group for medical emergencies. The car also has some crazy features like night vision cameras, flat-run tyres, tear gas, grenade launchers, and an armour-plated fuel tank to prevent it from exploding even after a direct hit.
The Chauffeur (a trained professional) is also trained by the US Secret Service. The driver side window is the only window which can be opened. The driver seat also has shotguns and some tear gas cannons. Here is an image to get a clear idea about the car.
The Beast is not alone
The motorcade will have two BEASTS – the spare limo for backup and decoy, and the other one with the president. Both the vehicles often undertake shell game-manoeuvres, like overtaking each other to confuse the attackers.
All the vehicles are owned and maintained by the United States Secret Service agency. Apart from THE BEAST, the Secret Service owns a few more Cadillac models which they use them to safeguard higher officials and guests.
Apart from the crazy defence and safety features, no one really knows what is inside the vehicle except for the Secret Service agents and a handful of GM engineers. In order to maintain the confidentiality, decommissioned cars will be dismantled and destroyed with the assistance of the Secret Service agents.
The limo has its own aeroplane
Yes, you read it right!! The limo has its own aeroplane – a C-17 Globemaster cargo plane which carries it along with the other vehicles in the motorcade and follows the President everywhere he goes.
What do you think about the US President – Trump’s BEAST? Let me know in the comments section.
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