We re-engineer cars for your security


Philosophy

Carat-Duchatelet is located in Liège, Belgium – well-known for its weapons industry and home of both FN Herstal and Browning, major weapon and ammunition manufacturers.

Jointly working with Ballistic Specialists, Laboratories and European Suppliers/Manufacturers recognized as producing today’s highest quality Transparent (glass) and Opaque (body) Armouring Materials Carat-Duchatelet today provides a vehicle that effectively addresses the today’s evolving complex ballistic and explosive threats.

Carat’s application of these armouring solutions into a “survival cell” within the original body of the vehicle is unique in the automotive industry. This armored shell becomes the main structural component of the vehicle dramatically increasing its strength. This unique system also includes an elaborate system of overlaps insuring there are no ballistic gaps through which a projectile may penetrate.

Evolving Threats

Worldwide security experts agree that today a major threat comes from explosive attacks whether improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s) or the more classic Hand Grenades (i.e. DM-51 or equivalent). The Carat armored shell provides the ultimate protection against these threats as it shares and absorbs the blast while the Transparent Armor is firmly retained by armored frames.

A wide range of Security equipment are included in the armor conversion or are available as options, such as Self-Sealing Fuel Tanks, Wheel Assemblies with Runflat capabilities, Multiple protected Battery Systems, automatic fire extinguishers, Emergency Air Supply, etc.
Other security equipment may be designed according to customers’ specific requirements.

Transparency towards the Customer and Ballistic Certificate

Our customers are always welcome in our factory to inspect their own car during the production.

We even strongly insist to have the car inspected by the customer at least twice during the production:

  •  After wheel base extension and/or armouring and before re-assembly. Then the customer can see which materials were used and how these materials were integrated in his their own car. This is the best way to acquire confidence in the product that will protect his their life.
  • After completion of the car and before shipment. Then the customers can test the car by themselves or by their own experts.

We’re able to provide ballistic certificates issued by an independent and NATO approved laboratory, confirming the vehicle meets the required level of protection

Before buying an armoured car…

A top-class armored car is actually a very sophisticated car. From experience, we know the choice of an armored car implies a difficult and risky decision for the customer who has to protect their life, and, in some cases, protect the life of another person.

To select a VIP vehicle armored by Carat Duchatelet is certainly the best choice a customer can make.

Questions before buying an armored car :

A top-class armored car is actually a very sophisticated car. From experience, we know that the choice of an armored car implies a difficult and risky decision for the customer who has to protect his their life, and, in some cases, protect the life of another person.

To select an a VIP vehicle armored armored by Carat Duchatelet is certainly the best choice a customer can make.

– But which type of armouring?

– Would you be protected as required?

– Do Does the vehicle’s handling and active and passive security come up to your expectations?

– These criteria, all very important , cannot remain unanswered.

All specialists know that the armouring of a high-quality car does not amount simply to the purchase and installation of the best ballistic products available on the security market; the reality is more complicated.

At Carat Duchatelet, we are convinced that, to reach a good result in the security field, first and foremost, the company that will manufacture your life-saving vehicle has to meet some requirements :

  • to enjoy a huge and long-lasting experience in exclusive armored vehicles.
  • to be used to work for very important persons, worldwide, who are rightly very demanding, mainly concerning quality, ballistic protection, handling and finish.
  • to have a Research & Development department, with a team composed of skilled engineers & technicians with access and knowledge of up-to-date automotive technologies
  • taking the complexity of these products into account, to integrate the production from design to final manufacturing, in order to centralise and master quality at all stages in the same assembly line.
  • to have a corporate culture, based on quality and customer satisfaction.
  • to have an efficient after-sale service with detailed records for each part of the vehicle and team of Flying Technicians ready to help you anywhere on the planet.

Some essential advice before buying a VIP armored vehicle

  • Never buy an armored car without advice from ballistic experts specialised in the automotive field.
  • Insist on having a visit of the production plant in order to see for yourself the high level of Carat skills and the quality of the final product. Never rely on a nice website or a nice presentation.
  • When armouring is complete, and before the re-assembly customers can inspect the car by their ballistic experts (when the car is completely re-assembled, identification of potential ballistic gaps is impossible).
  • When the car is ready and before for delivery, our customer can inspect once more, with road testing in order to let the expert check the handling, braking, etc, as well as the quality of the finish.

An optimal level of Armoring in complete discretion

Shield steel shell welded into the original shell to form a single structure, mechanically homogeneous and ballistic hermetically sealed. All doorways are equipped with an overlap system to prevent any bales from passing through the gaps.

A precise conversion on 3D jigs

In close collaboration, the R&D department and the sheet metal workshop have developed 3D jigs. Any elongated and raised vehicle is placed on a jig where it will be cut. The jigs are equipped with the body’s reference points, which makes it possible to extend and raise the roof with tolerances equal to those of the manufacturers. Once the modifications have been made to the body, the armoring can begin, always on marble.

The floor protection

Safety from all angles

CARAT Duchatelet offers several technical solutions according to the customer’s request and the level of threat. The floor protection is developed to withstand blast & shrapnel from explosives such as grenades or IED’s.

High security glazing

Shielded opening windows available as an option

The windows are supported by an armoured frame to prevent the glass from penetrating the passenger compartment and injuring the passenger(s) in case of an explosive attack. This structure is also essential when not under attack, due to the weight of the armoured windows. Depending on the ballistic protection, the thickness of the glass will vary from 39 mm to 71 mm.

Reinforced hinges

Hinges of proven robustness

The weight of the door armour, including the glazing, can reach up to 150 – 200kg. To cope with this weight, CARAT Duchatelet is forced to add hinges and an opening and closing assistance.

Reinforced suspensions

Adapted to support the load

As a result of the modifications made to the vehicle, it easily takes 1.5 to 2.5 tonnes more. The mechanical components must be adapted according to whether they are air and/or hydraulic suspension. The suspension elements are resized and reinforcements are added to the body. The car’s basic technology is respected and CARAT Duchatelet retains options such as: sport suspension – comfort mode suspension or enhanced suspension. For some off-road vehicles and given certain external constraints such as road conditions, CARAT Duchatelet has developed dual suspensions with 8 shock absorbers and 6 springs. A most cost-effective option that will significantly increase vehicle life, comfort and performance.