The Pit-Bull VX up close

The Pit-Bull VX is an armoured response vehicle (ARV). Designed specifically for SWAT teams, ARVs offer protection against small arms fire, but without the heavy armour that military vehicles require for protection against cannon fire and anti-tank weapons.

Lighter armour than their military equivalent gives ARVs greater speed and agility. This makes them suitable as first- response vehicles in an emergency situation. Once at a hostile scene an ARV’s tough shell means it can be used tactically as a firing post, for dropping an assault team into position or for rescuing hostages.

In the past police teams have tended to use either commercial pick-up trucks or vans. These provide a reasonably fast response time, however offer little more than the means of getting them to a hostile scene. Some SWAT teams have started to drive military vehicles, but due to their weight and lack of mobility they are not designed to be the first responders to an emergency.

ARVs like the Pit-Bull offer a compromise between the speed of an unarmoured vehicle and the protection of an armoured one. As well as offering its eight-officer crew protection against small arms fire, the Pit-Bull is grenade- proof, while firing ports enable the police to use their weapons from within.

A PA system and remote- control floodlights mean they can also communicate with the assailants and illuminate an area without having to step out of the vehicle. To cap it all, if negotiations do break down, the 7.5-ton Pit-Bull VX’s front bumper has been specially designed to be used as a battering ram.