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Graphic: After G8 lockdown, Obama's African trip to cost $100m

The single biggest security operation ever mounted in Northern Ireland may be underway as the G8 summit takes place in County Fermanagh, but the estimated £50m cost of ensuring the safety of the eight visiting world leaders seems a bargain compared to US president Barack Obama's trip to Africa later this month.

With the president set to visit Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa between 26 June and 3 July, the Secret Service will require three sets of security apparatus as there will not be enough time to transfer equipment between countries.

The cost of the operation is believed to be around $100m, or £65m, more costly than the entire G8 security bill.

The Africa trip entourage will include a navy aircraft carrier with a fully staffed medical trauma centre onboard, fighter jets flying around-the-clock over President Obama's airspace and at least 200 Secret Service agents.

The president's heavily-armoured limousine, nicknamed 'The Beast', will also be making the trip. The car, which is sealed against biochemical attacks, keeps a blood bank of Obama's blood type in the trunk.

Three trucks will also travel to Africa with the president, each one loaded with sheets of bulletproof glass to cover the US leader's hotel windows.

 

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