10 Of The Coolest SWAT Vehicles (And What They Can Do)

SWAT teams are an essential part of law enforcement and rescue missions, and have been ever since the first LAPD SWAT team was established in 1967 as a solution to increased occurrences of riots and mass shootings. SWAT teams often rely on specialized vehicles to ensure missions go as smoothly as possible, and to guarantee the safety of law enforcement and rescue personnel. A good SWAT vehicle could be the difference between a failed operation and a successful one. These vehicles come in various forms, like Armored Personnel Carriers (APC), Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs), and Tactical Response Vehicles (TRVs).

Regardless of the configuration, SWAT vehicles are essential to special operations — and a good SWAT vehicle has to have certain features, such as armor, strength, and maneuverability. Here, we're going to be covering some vehicles that take these base requirements and crank them up a couple of notches. From armored personnel carriers to mobile command centers, these 10 super-cool SWAT vehicles showcase a combination of cutting-edge technology and semi-military capabilities.

Paramount Group Marauder

Designed and manufactured by the Paramount Group in South Africa, the Marauder is a rugged but versatile machine that is adaptable to all sorts of uses, whether as an armored fire truck, ambulance, or command vehicle. It was initially launched in 2007 in Abu Dhabi, and since then, it has been a top choice for governments such as Azerbaijan Jordan. It's easy to see why, as the Marauder can easily plow through walls and buildings.

Even though the Marauder is slightly smaller than its bigger brother, the Matador, it still packs a punch. Its smaller size even helps maneuverability for operations in urban areas or tightly packed cities. With a passenger capacity of 8 (plus two drivers) and a payload capacity of nearly five tons, the Marauder can easily transport armed personnel and still be fitted with defense and weapons systems. The Marauder is also constructed with a V-shaped hull for a higher level of protection. 

Besides that, it features an impressive mine protection system. It can withstand up to eight kilograms of TNT under the hull without any rupture and even has anti-blast seats for added protection against explosives.

Lenco BearCat

The Lenco BearCat — which is actually an acronym for Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck — is an armored personnel carrier. Its G2 model, in particular, is the preferred SWAT vehicle of more than 1,000 law enforcement agencies in the U.S., and it's easy to see why. 

At the core of the BearCat's appeal is its robust all-steel armor construction, which provide protection from various types of weapons, explosives, and ammunition. It can also be upgraded to withstand attacks from chemical, biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. Further, the BearCat can also be fitted with a wide array of gadgets and gizmos, which include thermographic cameras, radiation detection, and even a battering ram.

Built on a 4x4 chassis, space is no issue for the BearCat, as it can comfortably seat 10 to 12 fully equipped personnel, with enough room for additional gear and equipment. It's also powered by a 6.4L V8 turbo diesel engine and equipped with four-wheel drive, making it capable of operating on pretty much any terrain. The BearCat is also popular because it is versatile — although it was originally designed for law enforcement and military use, its base model can be modified to meet the demands of medical and fire response services with its MedCat and FireCat variants.

Inkas Sentry

The Inkas Sentry is truly an all-terrain powerhouse. It has an armored vehicle protection level of BR6, meaning that it can protect passengers against high-velocity rounds. The outside of the passenger compartment, engine bay, and other important mechanical parts are armor-protected, and the windows feature multi-layer bulletproof glass, ensuring they don't become weak points. Inkas also developed a proprietary overlap system that prevents bullets from being fired between the doors, further reinforcing any potential weak points. The armor can even be upgraded to reinforce against blast and ballistic attacks.

Another thing that makes the Sentry stand out is the fact that it accommodates extreme climates. Inkas uses its own custom-designed components to ensure that it remains effective and reliable even in the most extreme conditions, making it suitable for use pretty much anywhere in the world. It also has great off-road capabilities, able to be driven on all different kinds of terrain. Despite its hefty armor, it remains agile and maneuverable.

Inkas Huron

Also from Inkas is the Huron, a massive 16-seat vehicle that retains all of the features of the Sentry but takes them up a few notches. Firstly, it's significantly bigger in size, which means that it's capable of carrying more people into the action. This is also helped by its 6.7L turbo diesel engine, which allows it to power through any situation, even with a significant load.

Even with extra passengers, the Huron still prioritizes comfort, as it's roomy enough to easily accommodate fully geared-up personnel. For even more comfort, it features heat and noise insulation to ease the stress of combat. However, SWAT vehicles are primarily meant for protection, and the Huron doesn't cut any corners here. It has a CEN B7 protection level, which means that it's extremely tough, handling ammo from an AK-47 like it's nothing and also offering blast protection against up to two grenades beneath the floor.

The Huron is bigger than a lot of APCs but it still manages to be surprisingly lightweight. Inkas does this through the same armor that is used in the Sentry, which keeps the vehicle nimble while providing the necessary ballistic protection.

RMMV Survivor R

The RMMV Survivor R is the result of the collaborative effort of RMMV, based out of Germany, and Achleitner, an Austrian company specializing in armored vehicles. It was first exhibited in 2014, so it's a couple of years old but that doesn't mean its technology isn't top of its class. The Survivor R is a medium-weight, multi-role tactical vehicle designed to do way more than just troop transport, and there's so much more that sets it apart from your typical APC.

The body of the Survivor is constructed with armored steel, but it can be reinforced with additional armor, which can be adapted to the intended use case. Its structure is also gas-tight, as well as equipped with a CBRN ventilation system. This means that while in the Survivor, passengers are protected from chemical, biological, and radiological elements. It also comes with sensors that detect the presence of any of these types of weapons.

Another plus is its roomy hull, which can carry up to 10 passengers, as well as their gear and any additional equipment for communication or reconnaissance. The Survivor comes with the option of adding a protective ventilation system, fire extinguishing system, windshield protection, weapon station, and many more.

Terradyne Gurkha LAPV

A lot of the entries on this list can only be purchased by law enforcement agencies or armed forces, as they are not intended for civilian use. However, the Gurkha is one armored vehicle that is openly available for both tactical defense and civilian use. This is a light armored patrol vehicle known for its off-road prowess. Its foundation is a Ford F-550 chassis, giving it a familiar core but with far superior protection.

The Gurkha has seen use by special ops units, homeland security, and police forces in countries like the U.S., Australia, Canada, and Mexico. Even though it's a light APV, it has a STANAG level 2 protection rating meaning it is easily able to shield occupants from light ballistics and up to six kg of explosives. The front, side, and bottom of the vehicle are reinforced to ensure that occupants are protected from all angles.

Compared to other SWAT vehicles, the Gurkha is slightly smaller in size and payload capacity. It can seat only eight personnel (two crew and six passengers) and can carry a payload of around 2 tonnes. However, this doesn't mean it isn't a beast. It is powered by a 6.7L V8 diesel engine and is also fitted with four-wheel drive and the great suspension mechanism of the Ford F-550 chassis. This, coupled with its smaller size means that it should perform well on and off-road. It also makes it a bulletproof vehicle that you can actually drive on the street, in case you're in the market for one.

IAG Sentinel

The Sentinel ARV was originally launched in the Tactical Response Vehicle variant, but it was redesigned as an Armored Rescue Vehicle to further assist tactical response teams. One of the first differences is that the ARV has two different options when it comes to seating arrangements, one of which comes with extra storage space on the floor of the vehicle for any additional gear.

It has a passenger capacity of 12 personnel, although the APC and TRV variants the outer body of the vehicle is fitted with both grab handles and a large rear step, which allows for more personnel. This also means that the outside of the vehicle can be used for faster deployment and response. It's also more than capable of powering through with the added exterior weight, as it comes in various engine specifications, from a V8 diesel engine to a V10 gas engine.

The Sentinel can be configured to either a CEN B6 or B7 protection level so it should have no issues keeping its passengers safe from hostile situations. It can also be fitted with supplementary equipment such as thermal cameras, advanced sensors that can detect harmful gasses and radiation, a live video feed in the command center, and a hydraulic battering ram.

Alpine Armoring Pit-Bull VX

If you couldn't tell from just looking at it, then its name should give you a hint that the Pit-Bull VX is not something to be messed with. It could almost pass for a small military tank. Designed and manufactured by Alpine Armoring, this armored personnel carrier is built on the cab chassis of a Ford F-550 and designed for extreme situations. The outer body is constructed with hardened ballistic steel and B6+ bulletproof glass, which can also be upgraded to B7 protection level.

It also comes with a bulletproof hull and specially designed military-grade tires that Alpine claims can withstand gunfire, explosions, and rough terrain. The body isn't the only part of this that is armor-protected, as the fuel tanks, battery, and computer module are reinforced as well. While all of this means that it's extremely heavy at 17,600 lbs, the door hinges are reinforced to support the extra weight. Even with how heavy it is, Alpine claims that the Pit-Bull still remains highly maneuverable, which is in part due to the powerful 6.7L turbocharged V8 diesel engine.

The Armored Group BATT-X

The BATT-X is the big brother to the BATT-APX, another armored vehicle designed and manufactured by The Armored Group (TAG). It was expanded to be able to carry 12 to 14 personnel, but the exact number might vary with each operation, depending on how much additional equipment they require. Regardless, TAG boasts that it is roomy enough to comfortably transport a SWAT team into action. Another comfort feature of the BATT-X is the fact that it is equipped with heating, air-conditioning, and a climate control system.

The BATT-X is extremely protective. Its outer armor is rated a NIJ Level IV, the highest level of protection rated by the National Institute of Justice. Another plus to the BATT-X is that it's designed to be inherently customizable. TAG even offers a wide array of additional features to equip it with which includes a ram system and ram cameras, gas needles, off-road kits, and gas and radiation detection systems. This high level of customization means that it can be tailored to the unique requirements of each particular mission.

Navistar Defense International MaxxPro MRAP

The International MaxxPro is a troop carrier known for its blast protection and crew survivability. MaxxPro means stands for maximum protection, and that's exactly what they're guaranteeing. It's constructed with a V-shaped hull and a modular armor system which allows its protection to be customized to specific threats.

Almost all the parts of the vehicle are manufactured in-house, which is unlike a lot of the other entries on this list. It's mounted on a 4x4 International Navistar chassis, and its individual parts are bolted together rather than welded, which is the norm when it comes to the construction of SWAT vehicles. 

According to Navistar, this is so that it's easier to repair when in combat zones, and this decision has made the MaxxPro a leading choice for a lot of armed services around the world, especially in the U.S. The engine powering the MaxxPro is also developed by Navistar. Under the hood is a 9.3L inline six-cylinder engine that is capable of powering this fortress on wheels.