Tue, Aug 08, 2017 - Page 4 News List

New presidential security vehicle due in October

By Lo Tien-pin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Vice President Chen Chien-jen’s motorcade escorts him in an Audi security vehicle, second right, on Sunday outside the Ministry of National Defense in Taipei.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

A new presidential security vehicle is expected to be delivered in October, a senior National Security Bureau official said on Saturday.

The Audi A8 L Security Sedan comes with a VR9 armor package, meaning that it protects occupants from rifle bullets up to 7.62x51mm and hand grenades, the official said.

The car is fitted with an emergency breathing supply in case of airborne chemical or biological attack, a self-sealing gas tank and an automatic fire suppression system, the official said.

The protection offered by the new vehicle is an improvement on that of vehicles in the bureau-operated fleet, the official said, adding that it cost about NT$24 million (US$794,176).

The vehicle resembles other Audis in the presidential motorcade to enhance security and secrecy, the official said.

Some of the presidential motorcade vehicles are older and the manufacturer no longer recommends upgrades, while others have VR7 armor, which ofers protection against rifle fire, but not explosives, the official said.

In light of emerging threats, the bureau does not believe the fleet meets the Presidential Office’s security needs, the official said.

The new vehicle uses a combination of steel, ceramics and aramid fiber in its armor and is assembled using handmade parts at a secure facility, contributing to its cost, they said.

The vehicle was not bought using the presidential car budget, sparking controversy.

Security vehicle procurement plans would be improved to reflect lawmakers’ concerns and submitted one to two years before an order is placed, the official said.

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