A BearCat pictured in 2007.
|Type||Non-military armored vehicle|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Lenco Industries (Lenco Armored Vehicles)|
|Variants||Military, G3, LE, VIP SUV, Medevac LE, Medevac Mil, Riot Control, G4 M-ATV, EOD|
|Crew||2 + 10 passengers|
|Armor||NIJ Type IV, 1.5–0.5 inch steel plate|
|Weapon mountable rotating roof hatch|
|Multiple side gun ports|
|Engine||Caterpillar turbo diesel
|Suspension||4 and 6 wheel configurations|
|Speed||75–90 MPH, "capable of highway speeds"|
The Lenco BearCat (Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck) 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.
Since 1981 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. Lenco has produced more than 5,000 armored vehicles for use in more than 40 countries worldwide.
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. 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. However, this is probably a backronym, as in Chinese 熊猫 are the characters for bear and cat, and together mean panda, alluding to the panda car or the black and white. 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. The .5 inch thick mil spec steel armored bodywork is completed with .50 caliber rated ballistic glass capable of multi-hits, blast-resistant floors, gunports, roof hatches/turret and agency specific equipment and/or modifications such as lights/sirens/battering ram/winches/thermal cameras and spot lights.
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 military surplus Cadillac Gage Ranger "PeaceKeeper" armored vehicles.
BearCats are typically referred to by law enforcement agencies as being "armored rescue vehicles" 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. The Bearcat is designed to provide protection from a variety of small arms, explosives and IED threats. 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.
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. 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. In November 2015, a BearCat was used by police to rescue civilians during the 2015 Colorado Springs shootings. The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office Bearcat was shot between 4-7 times with a rifle during an incident on December 29, 2015. Sheriff Whetsel was quoted as saying the Bearcat saved the Deputies' lives. On June 12, 2016, a Bearcat was used to breach Pulse nightclub after a gunman shot and killed 49 clubgoers and injured 53 others.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 called the Liberator and ARC by Patriot3, Inc., 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 along with many other local and state law enforcement agencies.
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.
- Australian Federal Police – Specialist Response Group
- New South Wales Police Force – Tactical Operations Unit ×2 (One each of the 2003 and 2012 variant)
- Northern Territory Police – Territory Response Group
- Queensland Police Service – Special Emergency Response Team ×2 
- South Australia Police – Special Tasks and Rescue Group
- Tasmania Police – Special Operations Group
- Western Australia Police – Tactical Response Group ×2 
- Victoria Police Special Operations Group
- Ottawa Police Service – Tactical Unit
- Saskatoon Police Service – Emergency Response Team
- Vancouver Police Department – Emergency Response Team
- Jamaica Police Force – FTTU
- Tijuana Municipal Police
- Moroccan Auxiliary Forces – 88 BearCat armored vehicles in riot control, troop transport, communications, convoy protection, and SWAT variants.
- BCIJ (Bureau Central d'Investigations Judiciaires), Moroccan Domestic Intelligence Unit & Special Forces.
- Dutch Police
Federal Law Enforcement
- United States Department of Energy Over 80 Lenco BearCats on (8) DoE Sites
- United States Park Police
- Kennedy Space Center – Emergency Response Team
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
- National Security Agency
- United States Marshals Service
- United States Department of State
- United States Capitol Police
State/Local Law Enforcement
- Alaska State Troopers – 3
- Austin Police Department S.W.A.T., TX
- Bloomington Police Department, MN
- Boulder County Sheriff
- Bozeman Police Department
- Burbank Police Department – S.W.A.T
- Carmel Police Department (Indiana) - S.W.A.T
- Central Bucks Emergency Response Team
- Chicago Police Department – S.W.A.T
- Concord, New Hampshire, Police Department 
- Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office
- Dallas Police Department (Texas) – S.W.A.T x 2
- Denver Police Department – S.W.A.T
- Dona Ana County Sheriff's Department (New Mexico) – S.R.T.
- Edmond Oklahoma Police Department - S.W.A.T
- El Dorado County Sheriff
- Erie (PA) Bureau of Police
- Fort Collins Police Services (Colorado) – S.W.A.T.
- Fort Worth Police Department – S.W.A.T.
- Honolulu Police Department – S.W.A.T
- Hudson County Sheriff's Department – S.W.A.T
- Illinois State Police (Illinois) – S.W.A.T.
- Keene, New Hampshire Police Department
- Laramie (Wyoming) S.R.T. – (Laramie P.D., Albany County S.O., University of Wyoming P.D.)
- Larimer County Sheriff (Colorado) – S.W.A.T.
- Lee County Sheriff's Office (Florida) – S.W.A.T
- Louisiana State Police – S.W.A.T
- Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department – Special Enforcement Bureau ×6 (One B.E.A.R, three BearCats, two Parademic or MedCats)
- Los Angeles Police Department – S.W.A.T ×4 (One B.E.A.R, two BearCats and one MedCat variant)
- Lower Columbia SWAT, Cowlitz, Clark, Skamania, and Wakhiakum Counties – Washington State. 
- Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (Tennessee) – S.W.A.T
- Miami Dade Police Department – S.R.T
- Morris County, NJ Sheriff Office
- Miami-Dade Police Department Special Response Team
- New Mexico State Police – Tactical Team
- New York City Police Department Emergency Service Unit ×2
- Northeast Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC)
- Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office - S.W.A.T.
- Pasadena Police Department – S.W.A.T
- Passaic County Sheriff's Department – S.W.A.T
- Philadelphia Police Department
- Prince William County Police Department SWAT
- Prince George's County Police Department
- Reno Police Department
- Salt Lake Unified Police Department
- San Diego Police Department (California) – S.W.A.T
- San Francisco Police Department – S.W.A.T
- Santa Barbara Police Department
- Scranton Police Department
- Seaside Police Department (California)
- Somerset County Prosecutors Office (New Jersey)
- Southeast Idaho SWAT team
- Stockton Police Department (California) – S.W.A.T
- Tallahassee Police Department – Tactical Apprehension and Control Team (TAC)
- Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Ranger Division S.W.A.T.
- Westchester County Department of Public Safety – Special Response Team (SRT)
- Williamson County Sheriff's Department S.R.T., TX
- Yonkers Police Department – Emergency Services Unit (ESU)
- United States Air Force 91st Security Forces Group
- United States Air Force Global Strike Command – (6) Air Force Bases – 60 BearCats for Nuclear Missile Convoy Protection
- Marine Corps Security Force Regiment
- United States Army BearCats used for US Army Military Base Security
- Fort Carson, CO
- Fort Hood, TX
- Fort Riley, KS
- Fort Bragg, NC
- US Army 8th MP Brigade, Korea
- United States Navy SWFPAC & SWFLANT (Strategic Weapons Facilities / Pacific & Atlantic – Over 100 BearCats for Perimeter Patrol & Security)
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