Ford’s new 5.0-tonne Transit has been deployed as a Protected Personnel Carrier with police forces across the country, having won a national tender to supply 400 vehicles over the next four years.
The Protected Personnel Carriers (PPCs), also known as riot vans, have been converted to new UK specification by Ford’s Qualified Vehicle Modifying partner, Safeguard SVP, and are capable of carrying up to 10 police officers, or nine if specified with the single-containment cell, which is either fixed or removable. Additional storage areas provide easy access to enforcement equipment, such as riot shields and personal protection equipment bags.
The four-year tender to supply PPC vehicles for all UK police forces was run by BlueLight Commercial Limited, established in 2020 by the Home Office to work in collaboration with blue-light organisations and to support suppliers. This tender is also open to Police Forces of British Overseas Territories, British Sovereign Base Areas and British Crown Dependencies.
“Our business at Ford is to make our customers’ businesses thrive – in this case, the business is keeping our emergency services safe in the most hostile environments, and our new 5.0-tonne Transit is the perfect tool for the job” said Terry Adams, Ford blue light sales manager. “We’re absolutely delighted to win a four-year tender, placing Transit in a very important role for such an important organisation.”
Transit’s new 5.0-tonne payload is the ideal PPC vehicle, which requires additional weight-bearing protection on the roof, underbody and for parts including the fuel tank, radiator and exhaust. These vehicles also feature an under-bonnet fire suppression system and run-flat tyres.
A specialist protective windscreen and side windows helps to protect the occupants of the vehicle if attacked, and mesh guards across the rear light clusters prevents further damage to the vehicle.
The increased payload of the 5.0-tonne Transit demands uprated mechanicals to deliver extra capability while maintaining ease of maintenance and operation. The chassis features upgraded hub assemblies, wheels and wider 205mm rear tyres, as well as new uprated brakes on the rear axle, making light work of heavier loads. Panel vans also benefit from reinforced upper body structures and ancillaries to support greater cargo weights.
All 5.0-tonne Transit variants are rear-wheel drive for optimum traction when fully laden, and fitted with Ford’s HDT powertrain for optimum durability, performance and fuel efficiency. Ford’s 170PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine produces up to 390Nm of torque to help moving heavy loads, and is coupled to a smooth-shifting six-speed manual gearbox or Ford’s class-leading 10-speed automatic transmission.
The Transit PPC made its UK debut at last month’s Emergency Services Show and will feature at the National Association of Police Fleet Managers (NAPFM) exhibition in Telford at the end of this month.