Sat, Nov 04, 2017 - Page 3 News List

New presidential transport arrives, awaiting license

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

A new Audi presidential armored car the government has bought from the German carmaker has arrived in the Port of Taipei, a senior National Security Bureau (NSB) official said on Tuesday.

Paperwork is being filed while the Audi A8L Security sedan is awaiting licensing tests, the official said on condition of anonymity.

The bureau is to test the armored car to see if it meets performance standards before completing the NT$25 million (US$828,583) transaction, the official said.

The bureau expects the car to be transferred to the government’s inventory before the end of next month, the official said.

The Yung Ho (永和) security unit, which protects the president’s official residence, is to operate the car for President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the official said.

The NSB ordered the armored Audi A8L as the presidential car because the other sedans in the presidential motorcade are of the same make and model, the official said.

Using cars of identical appearance for the president and assigned guards enhances the stealth and security of the motorcade, the official added.

To date, every Republic of China president has used armored cars, referred to as “security protected vehicles” by the NSB Special Services Center, the official said, adding that the bureau operates five such vehicles, including two sedans and three limousines.

All NSB security protected vehicles have been in active service for more than nine years, and their age is affecting reliability and serviceability, prompting the NSB to seek replacements, the official said.

According to an NSB report to the Legislative Yuan, the new armored car has a 4 liter engine displacement and a VR9 armor package, which protects occupants against rifle-caliber bullets and light explosives up to hand grenades.

Additional security features include emergency oxygen supply, a self-sealing tank and an automatic fire suppression system.

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