Czech Army’s Modernization Projects: Wheeled Command Post Vehicles

Czech Army’s Modernization Projects: Wheeled Command Post Vehicles
Author: Tatra Defence Vehicle|Caption: Nexter TITUS APC
09 / 08 / 2018, 10:00

Among the modernization and acquisition projects announced by the Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Aleš Opata in June there is, in chapter 15, the purchase of 39 Wheeled Armoured Command Post Vehicles (KOVVŠ). The illustration picture shows the TITUS vehicle, and despite the text says it does not express a preference of the Czech Army for the concrete vehicle, the Nexter TITUS mounted on TATRA chassis is hot candidate for both the 39 Command Post Vehicle and the 61 Wheeled Armoured Communications Vehicle (KOVS, chapter 16) acquisitions; 62 were already ordered in July 2017.

The TITUS (Tactical Infantry Transport and Utility System) is a 6x6 multirole armoured vehicle designed and manufactured by the French company Nexter. The vehicle was unveiled at the International Defense and Security (DSEI) event in London in September 2013. It offers an exceptional mobility through its TATRA 6x6 chassis coupled with a 440Hp engine (and more powerful engines are available). The vehicle is wrapped up with a last generation modular armoured skin, providing a ballistic level 2 to level 4, mines level 4a and 4b, and IEDs blasts up to 150 kg, increased by the original Nexter SAFEPRO design, and thanks to its V-shaped hull (the vehicle is Mine Resistant Ambush Protected, MRAP). TITUS can be equipped with any kind of Remote Control Weapon Station from 7.62mm to 20mm, and 40mm Grenade Launchers, depending on the level of threats and type of missions.

See also: Modernization Projects of the Czech Army

The chassis of the TITUS was developed by TATRA. The vehicle has a 6x4 configuration on roads which is switched to 6x6 for driving off-road, with full-time all-wheel drive. Weight of the vehicle is evenly distributed due to the second axle, which is located directly in the middle between first and third axles. The combat weight of the TITUS vehicle is 23 t, which can be increased to 27 t by substituting the baggage space of 4 t. The internal volume of the vehicle is more than 14m3 including 4m3 of storage space.

The modular vehicle is capable of carrying out missions such as transport of infantry troops, combat, combat support, including mortar carriers, and combat service support functions, including medical evacuation, cargo transport, peacekeeping and counter-insurgency, and it can be easily fitted to answer the Czech Army’s requirements for the Command Post and Communications vehicles; 62 vehicles were already ordered in July 2017, now 100 additional vehicles would follow.

Specification for the Wheeled Armoured Command Post Vehicle:

  • Crew of 4 (driver, commander of the crew, 2 communications device operators);
  • Elements of battalion command post;
  • 39 vehicles in total;
  • Tent for staff service with complete equipment (10 working places) as an independent component.

1. Ballistic protection

  • According to STANAG 4569.

2. Armament

  • Weapon mount - machine gun MINIMI 7.62 mm.

3. Protection against WMD

  • RAID XP detector of toxins;
  • Radiation control device;
  • Filtration and ventilation unit FVZ-98.

4. Communications and information equipement

  • Intercom system;
  • VHF/UHF radio (1 piece) for voice and data communication (GPS, TACSAT and covert communication);
  • INMARSAT BGAN terminal;
  • Radio relay station to link in brigade system (Brigade Task Force);
  • BLACK and RED routers for data communication and IP telephony;
  • Servers and disc storage of the Information System of the Operational Tactical Command and Control System of the Ground Forces (IS OTS VŘ PozS);
  • Two work stations of the automated command and control system;
  • Combat identification system - passive.

5. Auxiliary equipment

  • Vehicle diagnostics;
  • Automatic telescopic mast;
  • Vehicle and stationary antenna system;
  • Auxiliary power unit.

The Wheeled Armoured Communications Vehicle differ in the following:

  • Crew of 4 (driver, commander of the crew, 2 communications device operators);
  • Designed to provide communications in radio networks and directions of the command and control system;
  • 61 vehicles in total.

4. Communications and information equipment

  • Intercom system;
  • VHF/UHF radio (3 pieces) for voice and data communication (GPS, TACSAT and covert communication);
  • HF radio for voice and data communication at medium distances;
  • INMARSAT BGAN terminal;
  • two BVIS work stations;
  • Combat identification system - passive.

In July 2017 the Government approved the contract of the Ministry of Defence with a total value of almost CZK 4.8 billion (approx USD 220 million) concerning the TITUS to be purchased in the following years (2019-2023).

"It will be 62 Titus 6x6 wheeled vehicles on the TATRA chassis (…) Titus will be issued to the 4th and 7th Brigades (…)," Minister of Defence Martin Stropnický said in July 2017. Of those 62 vehicles 6 would be the Wheeled Armoured Command Post Vehicles, 36 Wheeled Armoured Communications Vehicles, and 20 Fire Support Coordination Element (FSCE) Vehicles. The order included logistics and training, workshop kits and spare parts for vehicle operation and crew training.

The Army currently operates 26 R-5M tracked communications vehicles built on the BVP-1 (BMP-1) platform, 16 VP-90 and 13 VOV tracked command vehicles built on the OT-90 Armoured Personnel Carrier (which is another conversion of the BMP-1), and is in urgent need of modern replacements.

Udate (29th August 2018)

The Ministry of Defence has awarded the contract to supply 62 Titus wheeled armoured vehicles, jointly developed by Nexter Group and Tatra Trucks, to local defence company Eldis Pardubice Ltd. The contractor was changed from Tatra Export to Eldis Pardubice after the Tatra Export failed to obtain a security clearance, and a license from Nexter Systems. Deliveries of the vehicles are scheduled for 2020-2025. The total price is expected to be CZK 6.7 billion (USD 303.1 million). Tatra Export and Eldis Pardubice are both part of Czechoslovak Group (CSG).

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