MEMBERS OF VICTORIA'S POLICE force have been spotted motoring around Melbourne's roads in a 7.5-tonne armoured vehicle, which may be used by the force's elite Special Operations Group to respond to potential terrorist threats or armed sieges.
The vehicle is an Armet Balkan Mk7, a tactical response vehicle that can carry up to 10 people in the utmost security. Based on a Ford F-550 chassis, the Balkan is powered by a 6.4 litre turbodiesel V8 and drives all four wheels through a five-speed automatic gearbox.
Despite having a curb weight of 7484kg, the Balkan can still hit a top speed of 130km/h and travel for 600km on a single (151 litre) tank of fuel.
The glass is bulletproof and the floor and sidewalls strong enough to withstand the blast of a landmine. A shielded turret is an optional extra, however it's unlikely the Victoria Police will have a pressing need for one.
The Balkan is currently under evaluation by the Special Operations Group, with the vehicle likely to enter the police fleet soon.
The number of Balkan's that will be purchased by the police and the cost of the vehicles are still unknown, however with Armet recently opening a production facility in Melbourne, odds are there will be more than one of these behemoths rolling on Victoria's streets in the near future.