Barack Obama

Obama's armoured limousine breaks down in Israel

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 March, 2013, 4:16am

US President Barack Obama lost his first choice of wheels, after one of his hulking armoured limousines broke down in Israel.

The US Secret Service had to fly another vehicle in from Jordan where it was waiting for Obama, who will travel to the neighbouring country today after wrapping up his visit to the Jewish state.

"One of our protective vehicles experienced mechanical problems in Israel earlier today," said Edwin Donovan, a secret service spokesman. "This is why we bring multiple vehicles and a mechanic on all trips."

Donovan said that the president's itinerary was not affected by the breakdown, which happened before he arrived in Israel.

Some Israeli media reports suggested the car conked out after it was filled with diesel fuel rather than petrol.

Obama uses a variety of bulletproof vehicles, including "The Beast" which is built by GM and is a heavily remodelled Cadillac.

The Secret Service flies several presidential vehicles around the United States and across the world when Obama travels, using huge Air Force transport planes.

The specifications of the car are kept secret, but there have been reports it has its own oxygen supply, carries hi-tech communications scrambling equipment and has special reinforced tyres and wheels.