Photo courtesy of Ford.

Photo courtesy of Ford.

Ford will offer ballistic panels on its Police Interceptor sedan and P.I. Utility that protect occupants from armor-piercing rifle ammunition, Ford has announced.

The Type IV ballistic inserts will be available as an option for law enforcement fleets. The panels have been rated to withstand .30-caliber armor piercing bullets that travel at a velocity of about 2,880 feet per second.

"Officers globally told us they needed protection from armor piercing ammunition and we added increased ballistic protection to an already great product,” said Arie Groeneveld, a Ford chief engineer for the vehicles.

Optional Type III ballistic panels are already on duty in agencies around the United States and are rated to protect against all handgun and non-armor piercing bullets up to .30 caliber (specifically up to 7.62-by-51 mm NATO M80 ball ammunition) as well as special threat rounds identified by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Ford offers other features on the vehicles aimed at protecting officers, including safety cell construction to aid structural integrity.