PM Modi’s Protection – BMW 760Li Security Edition Fits the Bill
As Modi’s performance metre scales up, his mobility solution too needs to be in a matching gear. When he was being sworn in, there were rumours about the Mahindra Scorpio becoming the Indian Prime Minister’s choice. He was even driven to the Rashtrapati Bhavan for the swearing-in ceremony in his Armoured Scorpio, which he’d been driven around in all through the 2014 General Elections.
It is even said that Anand Mahindra, chairman and managing director, Mahindra and Mahindra, had written a letter to Narendra Modi requesting him to select the Scorpio as his official vehicle, arguing that it would be a matter of pride for every Indian to have the Prime Minister of the country choose a car that’s been conceived, designed and manufactured in India. However, as per the stringent security norms set by the Special Protection Group, the vehicle ferrying around Modi needed to meet a certain set of standards and protocols, and the BMW 7-Series managed to meet every demand on their checklist.
BMW 760Li high security edition
The Special Protection Group (SPG), was formed in 1988 and has been responsible for providing proximate security to Prime Minister as well as to the members of their families. The former PMs and their family members can decline the security if they deem fit.
The car suiting the Prime Ministerial detail is the BMW 760Li High Security edition, that looks very similar to the 745Li. BMW considers this visual cue to be of great importance since a majority of its customers favour discretion and anonymity. This particular model meets the highest available ballistic protection criteria – class B6/B7, which makes it all the more popular amongst the extremely wealthy and important class of people who require a mobility option with the highest levels of reinforcement and protection.
The BMW 760Li Security edition completely falls in conjunction with the international grade of ballistic protection. The fully armoured 7 series looks just like an ordinary car on the outside, but comes armour plated on the inside, with the plates being made out of high grade ballistic steel and mounted on the bodywork as an alternative skin.
The car is strengthened and reinforced to protect its occupants against anything, from blunt hand held weapons, to high calibre hand guns, semi and automatic rifles, and bomb attacks. The vehicle can also run on flat tyres for very long distances at speeds upto 80 km per hour. The fuel tank of the car is bomb proof and self sealing, and will refuse to explode even under direct hits of gunfire or other explosives. Under threats of gas attacks the cabin seals and isolates itself from the surroundings and turns into a gas proof chamber.
The integration of security components is carried out in the BMW plant itself. The major elements and members of the chassis are modified according to the increased weight of the armoured models. The chassis, dampers and upper points of mountings of the brackets provide for a level of performance from the car that a regular bulletproof vehicle cannot. Even the floor of the car is protected and reinforced against explosions.
The car also comes with an innovative high density polycarbonate safety glass, that is over 6 mm thick. The inner layer of polycarbonate protects the interior from the entry of broken glass in case the first layer gets fractured.
Driver training in escape manoeuvres
For the training of these special cars, BMW teaches the ways of vehicular control in extreme driving conditions. Under the guidance of highly experienced instructors in the security field, and an extensively designed training for professional driving course, the drivers are trained sophisticated escape manoeuvres, and tactical turning techniques in various formations.
Narendra Modi is not only one of the most dynamic and popular of all Indian Prime Ministers, but also the most at risk, and measures for his protection must be higher and more rigid than his predecessors. There are also satellite phones and jammers in the car.
The decision to replace the Hindustan Ambassadors with BMWs was taken by India’s former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
There are a total of nine of these BMW 7 series in the PM’s motorcade along with bomb squad vehicles, decoy cars, and a dozen BMW X5 SUVs used by the SPG.