Built on a Caterpillar, the most dependable line of work vehicles in the world, the Rook is a small, tracked, armored critical incident vehicle designed to allow law enforcement the ability to observe, approach and breach, or deliver completely protected operators from behind custom-installed bulletproof glass and NIJ Level IV armor cab-reinforcement fabrication.
The Rook is designed and built by Ring Power, North and Central Florida’s Caterpillar dealer. Utilizing the powerful Caterpillar 287C Multi-Terrain Loader with an 84 gross-horsepower engine, the Rook has a 13,000-pound operating weight; a rugged, wide, rubber track; dual joystick controls; and an enclosed cab with air conditioning/heat.
As seen here with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office SWAT, the Rook’s Armored Deployment Platform allows officers to approach a structure (without having to cross open, exposed ground on foot) and to gain entry to the first or second story of a building. The ADP allows them to search the house from the top down or deploy snipers to a rooftop.
Other attachments include the Hydraulic Breaching Ram, which can be used to breach walls, doors or hurricane windows from a standoff 6 to 10 feet away, and the Grapple Claw, which can be used for tactical demolition, such as creating access to a hardened structure by taking the roof off or clearing roadblocks and debris during law enforcement situations. The Grapple Claw is also excellent as a post-natural-disaster recovery tool.
The Rook exacts fewer pounds per square inch of ground pressure than a pickup truck does and has dimensions that allow a fast and protected response within many enclosed areas like malls, schools and industrial structures, where active-shooter incidents may occur.
The Rook is easy to drive—I was able to operate it with less than two minutes of instruction—and its integrated video system provides visibility into areas that small robotic video cameras cannot access. With certain attachments, the Rook can also deploy gas through concrete walls or deliver a phone to a frantic hostage-taker.
The Rook costs approximately $250,000, which includes several attachments and a trailer to store the whole package. The trailer can be hooked up to an appropriate vehicle and transported for immediate deployment. For more information, visit ringpower.com.
Video and detail photos on page two.