Lenco BearCat

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Nash Bearcat.jpg
Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck
Type Non-military armored personnel carrier
Place of origin  United States
Production history
Designed 1999
Manufacturer Lenco Industries (Lenco Armored Vehicles)
Unit cost USD $188,793 – $300,000[1][2]
Produced 1999[3][4]

Military, G3, LE, VIP SUV, Medevac LE, Medevac Mil, Riot Control, G4 M-ATV,

Weight 16,500 lb – 17,550 lb
Length 20 ft
Width 10 ft
Height 8–12 ft
Crew 2 + 10 passengers

Armor NIJ Level IV,[5] 1.5 – .5 inch Steel Plate [2]
Weapon mountable rotating roof hatch
Multiple side gun ports
Engine Caterpillar Turbo diesel
300 hp
Power/weight 40 hp/ton
Suspension 4 and 6 wheel configurations
Speed 75–90 MPH,[6] "capable of highway speeds" [7]

The Lenco BearCat is a wheeled armored personnel carrier designed for military and law enforcement use. It is in use by numerous military forces and law enforcement agencies around the world.


BearCat is an acronym, standing for Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck.[8][9]


Since 1981[10] the Massachusetts based Lenco Industries, known as Lenco Armored Vehicles has designed and manufactured armored vehicles for law enforcement, military, government and private security forces.[11] Lenco has produced more than 5,000 armored vehicles for use in more than 40 countries worldwide.[4][12]

The BearCat is one type of vehicle produced by the company that is in use by numerous U.S. military and law enforcement agencies and it also used by numerous Police Tactical Groups in Australia.[7] The name BearCat stands for Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck as it is the smaller cousin to the Lenco B.E.A.R.[12] The Bearcat is based on a Ford F-550 Super Duty Chassis with two available engines, (The V10 Triton Gasoline and the 6.7L Turbo Diesel), six-speed automatic transmission commercial truck chassis.[13] The .5 inch thick mil spec steel armored bodywork is completed with .50 caliber rated ballistic glass capable of multi-hits, blast-resistant floors, specially designed gunports, roof hatches/turret and agency specific equipment and/or modifications such as lights/sirens/battering ram/winches/thermal cameras and spot lights.[14]

The first BearCat was designed and completed in August 2001 as a spin-off product of the larger Lenco B.E.A.R., with input from Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) as an updated and improved version of their aging military surplus Cadillac Gage Ranger ‘PeaceKeeper’ armored vehicles.[4]


Bearcats are typically referred to by law enforcement agencies as being 'armored rescue vehicles'[15] with their primary use being to transport tactical (SWAT/Special Reaction Teams) officers to and from hostile situations and to assist with the recovery and protection of civilians in harm's way during terrorist threats, hostage incidents, or encounters with large gatherings of aggressors.[16][17] The Bearcat is designed to provide protection from a variety of small arms, explosives and IED threats.[16] Like its larger cousin the B.E.A.R, the Bearcat is able to be fitted with the 'MARS' Mobile Adjustable Ramp System which allows tactical officers to gain entry to elevated platforms such as second story windows or aircraft.[18][19]

Lenco Bearcats have been credited with saving the lives of officers in armed confrontations on numerous occasions. In 2010 in Athens, Texas an armed offender fired more than 35 rounds from a semi-automatic AK-74 rifle at tactical police. Not one round penetrated the Bearcat.[20] In June 2012 a BearCat, belonging to the Central Bucks Emergency Response Team, took 28 rounds from a 'high powered rifle' during a siege with no rounds penetrating the vehicle.[21]


At present there are nine variants of the BearCat, some with unique features and others designed for specific purposes or customers.[12][22]

  • Military – Military version
  • LE – Law enforcement version
  • G3 – off-road variant for law enforcement
  • VIP/SUV – armored vehicle for diplomatic missions
  • Medevac LE – armored medical evacuation vehicle (law enforcement) "MedCat" - equipped with two medical litters, oxygen tanks, a lighted work station, and compartments for medical supplies and gear storage.[23]
  • Medevac Mil – armored medical evacuation vehicle (military) "MedCat" - designed for Tactical Combat Casual Care (TC3), equipped with same features as the MedCat LE with four medical litters.[23]
  • Riot control
  • G4 M-ATV – armored all-terrain vehicle (Generation 4)
  • EOD (Explosive ordnance disposal) – armored vehicle "BombCat" for bomb units with room for a large bomb disposal robot, with fold-down ramp and hydraulically controlled platform for deployment. Also can include roof-mounted zoom camera with scene lighting, thermal camera, CBRNE equipment, and advanced communications sensors upon request.[24][25]


The BearCat series is customizable with a variety of non-standard features depending on the customers requirements. BearCats are able to be fitted with moveable elevated platform systems to enable tactical units to access a variety of elevated structures such as multi-story buildings, ships at docks or aircraft during high-risk, hostage or terrorist situations. The LAPD fits one of its four armoured Lenco vehicles with one such system.[5]

Some of the BearCat's features include:

  • emergency lights/sirens
  • rotating roof hatch
  • optional powered turrets with or without ballistic glass panels and blast shields
  • gun ports
  • electric winches
  • running boards
  • protection against chemical, biological, radiological nuclear and high-yield explosives (CBRNE)
  • back-up camera
  • Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS)
  • battering ram attachment
  • CS gas (tear gas) deployment nozzle
  • radiation detection systems
  • Thermographic camera systems
  • spot/flood lights


BearCats of various configurations are in use by the following agencies and departments around the world with over 500 in use in the United States alone.[26]




  • Jamaica Police Force – FTTU


  • Moroccan Auxiliary Forces – 88 BearCat armored vehicles in riot control, troop transport, communications, convoy protection, and SWAT variants.[41]


  • Dutch Police[4]

 United States

Federal Law Enforcement[4]

State/Local Law Enforcement



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Glendale police buy 15-ton armored vehicle" accessdate = 2009-07-20
  2. ^ a b "Kalispell police loaded for BEAR" accessdate = 2009-07-20
  3. ^ http://automotive.zibb.com/trademark/lenco+bearcat/29949235
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i http://bioamerica-inc.com/v2/media/lenco/Lenco_Armored_Vehicles_Brief.pdf
  5. ^ a b http://www.patriot3.com/liberator-vehicles/bearcat-g2/
  6. ^ http://www.policeone.com/police-products/vehicles/specialty/articles/1793574-SOR-Magazine-Lenco-BearCat-G4-is-security-big-wheel/
  7. ^ a b https://www.rkb.us/contentdetail.cfm?content_id=157103
  8. ^ http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2012/07/27/349645_tasmania-news.html
  9. ^ http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_south_pinellas/st_pete_beach/st-petersburg-police-unveil-a-new-armored-vehicle
  10. ^ http://www.yellowpages.com/pittsfield-ma/mip/lenco-industries-inc-2017661
  11. ^ http://securitydriver.com/09/a-strategic-alliance-with-lenco-bearcat/
  12. ^ a b c http://www.hendonpub.com/resources/articlearchive/details.aspx?ID=207782
  13. ^ http://www.autoweek.com/article/20050509/FREE/505090718#ixzz1X3TApGxc
  14. ^ http://www.policemag.com/Channel/Vehicles/Articles/2010/02/Beyond-the-Patrol-Car.aspx
  15. ^ a b http://the-riotact.com/canberra-gets-a-beast-behold-the-lenco-engineering-armoured-rescue-vehicle/44778
  16. ^ a b http://www.policeone.com/manufacturers/Lenco-Armored-Vehicles/
  17. ^ http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/armoured-vehicle-for-sieges/story-e6frea83-1226059133084
  18. ^ http://www.patriot3.com/mars-tactical-platform/
  19. ^ http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikesphotos_us/4453130998/
  20. ^ http://www.swattrucks.com/news/TylerPDNewsArticle.pdf
  21. ^ Bearcat Survived Standoff; Police Cars Did Not : http://doylestown.patch.com/articles/bearcat-survived-standoff-police-cars-did-not#photo-10359721
  22. ^ http://www.armoredtrucks.com/products-bearcat.aspx
  23. ^ a b Lenco Industries introduces the BearCat MedEvac LE and MIL 4x4 tactical armoured vehicle – Armyrecognition.com, 11 August 2013
  24. ^ http://www.swattrucks.com/bcat-eod.aspx
  25. ^ Lenco Industries introduces the BearCat EOD BombCat armoured vehicle for EOD and IEDD teams – Armyrecognition.com, 1 August 2013
  26. ^ http://theglobalrealm.com/2011/08/29/is-homeland-security-spending-paying-off/
  27. ^ http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/steve-yalda-freed-on-bail-only-to-be-shot-in-moorebank/story-e6freuzi-1226075958967
  28. ^ http://www.responseaustralia.net/issues/Issue08.pdf
  29. ^ http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=145690685502936
  30. ^ http://www.pfes.nt.gov.au/Media-Centre/Media-releases/2011/May/16/HighTech-Armoured-Rescue-Vehicle-now-part-of-the-NT-Police-Arsenal.aspx
  31. ^ http://www.cabinet.qld.gov.au/MMS/StatementDisplaySingle.aspx?id=74455
  32. ^ http://www.attorneygeneral.gov.au/www/ministers/mcclelland.nsf/page/MediaReleases_2011_SecondQuarter_19May2011-Newhigh-techarmouredrescuevehicleforSouthAustralia
  33. ^ http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8435486
  34. ^ Tasmania Police: Armoured Rescue Vehicle: http://www.police.tas.gov.au/news/posts/view/3049/armoured-rescue-vehicle/
  35. ^ http://www.google.com.au/search?q=western+australia+BEARCAT+ARMORED&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a
  36. ^ http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/bearcat-joins-wa-anti-terror-fighting-force/story-fnhocxo3-1226635973176
  37. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-12/27bearcat27-to-assist-police-in-hostile-situations/4625256?section=vic
  38. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2010/03/24/ottawa-police-armoured-lenco-bearcat.html
  39. ^ http://www.newstalk650.com/story/saskatoon-police-unveil-new-armoured-vehicle/58784
  40. ^ http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=49cc3005-17d9-4778-bc28-340328cd29d0
  41. ^ Morocco has taken delivery of 88 BearCat 4x4 armoured vehicles for the Moroccan Auxiliary Forces – Armyrecognition.com, 1 August 2013
  42. ^ http://www.flickr.com/photos/policecararchives/3804812316/
  43. ^ http://www.flickr.com/photos/policecararchives/3531432080/in/pool-981712@N23
  44. ^ http://www.ktb.net/~billmeco/sts114pre.html
  45. ^ Alaska State Troopers purchase three Lenco BearCats – Armyrecognition.com, March 22, 2013
  46. ^ http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_20856056
  47. ^ http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/september11/la-na-911-homeland-money-20110828,0,4574475,full.story
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  66. ^ http://updsl.org/images/galleries/2012/millcreek_venture_outdoor_festival/Venture%20Outdoor%20Festival%202012%20042.jpg
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  69. ^ http://i.imgur.com/w7sLO.jpg
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  72. ^ http://www.idahostatejournal.com/news/local/bannock-sheriff-upset-by-how-tribal-leadership-treated-swat-team/article_c4363682-43be-11e4-a061-5f8c5ebd42b2.html
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External links[edit]