As risks of violence and uncertainty rise globally, the demand for armored and bulletproof vehicles continues to grow. For high net worth individuals, heads of state, dignitaries, and security forces, having an armored vehicle provides an extra layer of protection when traveling. Nissan, the Japanese automaker, offers several models that can be customized and armored to meet bulletproof and blast-resistant standards.
Why Nissan Stands Out for Armoring and Bulletproofing
Nissan has several advantages that make it a preferred brand for armoring and bulletproofing vehicles. Some key reasons include:
Built to Last Frames: Nissan SUVs and trucks feature rugged, reinforced frames to handle off-roading and hauling. This makes an ideal starting point for adding protective armor and ballistic glass.
Power and Performance: Models like the Nissan Armada and Patrol feature powerful V8 engines providing rapid acceleration to escape threats. The suspension can be upgraded to handle the extra weight of armor.
Spacious Interiors: With ample legroom and headroom, Nissan’s larger vehicles allow for armoring without compromising passenger comfort and mobility. Armoring is installed seamlessly maintaining the stock appearance.
Trusted Brand: Nissan is a globally recognized brand known for reliability and safety. An armored Nissan carries an extra sense of assurance and discrete security versus lesser known brands.
Bespoke Options: Owners can request customized features like emergency lights, ram bumpers, self-sealing fuel tanks, fire suppression systems, and run-flat tires when armoring their Nissan.
Nissan Models Frequently Armored and Up-Armored
With a versatile range of sedans, SUVs and fleet vehicles, Nissan offers many suitable models for bulletproofing and armoring. Some of the most popular choices include:
The Nissan Armada full-size SUV is a very common choice for a bulletproof, armored vehicle. Its robust chassis, 317 hp V8 engine, and 7,000 pound towing capacity make it an ideal platform. The Armada’s interior can be customized to meet various protection levels against ballistic, blast, and fragment threats. Opulent additions such as reclining rear seats, hardwood trims, and entertainment systems cater to VIP clients.
Similar to the Armada, the Nissan Patrol mid-size SUV is an oft-selected vehicle for armoring. Used extensively by security services in the Middle East and Asia, the Patrol can be upfitted with specialized enhancements like smoke screens, rams, and run-flat tire systems. The Patrol’s off-road adeptness enables access beyond paved roads.
Nissan NV Passenger Vans:
For clients wanting a highly protected but inconspicuous vehicle, NV passenger vans offer ample space for armoring and customization while maintaining a low profile exterior. Their cargo carrying capability also allows for additional gear stowage. NV vans keep occupants comfortable with options like rear air conditioning and seats that swivel 180 degrees.
The Nissan Navara (also called the Frontier) mid-size pickup provides rugged capability for security forces needing protected transportation. Bullet-resistant glass, composite body plating, reinforced suspensions and run-flat inserts make the Navara suitable for patrolling and rapid response missions in dangerous regions. Its four-door double cab configuration can transport armed personnel.
For executives needing added protection but preferring a low-profile sedan, the Nissan Maxima retrofitted with armoring is an excellent solution. The interior can be fitted with comfortable, five-star hotel leather seating while armor keeps occupants safe from small arms fire and explosives. It offers the luxury and amenities of an executive class vehicle with combat-ready protection.
What Bulletproofing Protection Levels Are Available?
When armoring a vehicle, clients can select their preferred degree of ballistic protection. The levels of bullet-resistance are based on standards from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), an agency of the Dept. of Justice. Higher levels of armoring stop larger caliber, higher velocity projectiles yet add more weight. Depending on the anticipated threats, clients can opt for lightweight level B4 protection all the way up to ultra-heavy level B7 guarding against .30 caliber armor piercing rounds fired from rifles. Available protection levels for Nissans include:
- Level B4: This lightweight option stops .357 Magnum rounds, a common handgun cartridge. It adds around 100 lbs of weight.
- Level B5: This mid-range armor protects against .44 Magnum rounds from large caliber revolvers. It adds about 200 lbs of additional weight.
- Level B6: Stopping 7.62mm rifle rounds which have more penetrating power, this protection adds around 500 lbs.
- Level B7: The highest rating, this armor stops .30 caliber armor piercing rifle bullets, adding 700-1000 lbs.
- Special Threat: Custom options like protection against FN 5.57 rounds can also be integrated according to client specifications.
Key Armoring Components and Features
To meet ballistic protection standards, armored Nissans utilize a variety of specialized materials and components. The primary aspects include:
- Armored Glass: Multiple layers of ballistic resistant glass up to 2 inches thick defend against attacks to the windows. This transparent armor weighs 200-750 lbs depending on vehicle size and protection level.
- Composite Body Panels: High hardness steel, aramid, and polyethylene materials form lightweight panels bolted to the vehicle’s frame and interior. These defend the engine, battery, suspension, and occupants from ballistic damage.
- Reinforced Door Pillars: Strengthening the door and pillar area protects occupants from ballistic penetration and preserves structural integrity after explosions so doors can open.
- Ballistic Steel Floor: Layers of ballistic steel beneath the floorboards defend against grenades and roadside bombs. Overlapping armor prevents entry from shots passing under the vehicle.
- Other Features: Self-sealing fuel tanks, fire suppression systems, reinforced door hinges/locks, emergency beacons, P.A. systems, and run-flat inserts enhance survivability and safety.
Maintaining Vehicle Performance When Armored
One concern owners may have when armoring their Nissan is performance reduction from the extra weight. While heavy protection levels will impact acceleration, braking, and handling to an extent, there are ways to mitigate the effects:
- Suspension Upgrades: The suspension system, springs, shock absorbers can be bolstered to account for the additional weight. This improves load leveling and ride quality.
- More Powerful Engine: For the Armada, Patrol and other models, installing a performance engine or supercharger can offset the reduced power-to-weight ratio of an armored vehicle.
- Strategic Armor Placement: Installing the armor intelligently, focused on the passenger cabin more than the engine compartment and trunk can minimize performance loss. Vehicle centers-of-gravity are taken into account.
- Lighter Armor Materials: Using cutting-edge lightweight composites and metals where possible reduces overall vehicle weight without sacrificing protection.
- Better Brakes and Tires: Upgrading the rotors, calipers, pads and improving tire traction provides greater stopping force for the heavier armored Nissan.
With the right modifications, suspensions, and materials, armored Nissans can maintain responsive handling, off-road agility, and discreet appearances. The additional peace of mind and protection occupants gain against ballistic and explosive attacks make Nissans a smart choice for armoring. Their proven durability and familiarity among security professionals worldwide add confidence. As more models become integrated into protective service and military fleets, Nissan continues growing as a trusted brand for armoring and bulletproofing vehicles under threat.