DAF Trucks delivers the first military logistics trucks on Tatra chassis to the Belgian Army

DAF Trucks delivers the first military logistics trucks on Tatra chassis to the Belgian Army
10 / 12 / 2022, 12:00

On Thursday 1 December 2022, representatives of the Belgian Army took delivery of the first DAF CF Military logistics trucks. In total, the Belgian Armed Forces have ordered no less than 900 of these vehicles, which are built on Tatra chassis. Deliveries of the new vehicles are due to be completed in 2025.

During the ceremony, DAF Trucks President Harald Seidel presented Major General Thierry Esser and Lieutenant General Frédéric Goetynck, who represented Minister of Defence Ludivine Dedonder, with the keys to the first production logistics vehicles of the DAF CF Military series. The symbolic ceremony took place at DAF's Belgian factory in Westerlo, located about 60 kilometres from DAF's headquarters in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Production of the first 150 vehicles destined for the Motorised Brigade, Special Operations Regiment and the Medical Component of the Belgian Army is already underway.

The Belgian Ministry of Defence has ordered a total of 879 logistics trucks in 2021 based on the results of a tender, and DAF Trucks, the supplier (and prime contractor), has been working closely with Czech companies Tatra Trucks and Tatra Defence Vehicle on the project from the start. Tatra Trucks is responsible for the production of the chassis, while Tatra Defence Vehicle produces the armoured cabs for some of the vehicles. The success of the cooperation between DAF, Tatra Trucks and Tatra Defence Vehicle in the Belgian tender marks the most important military contract for Kopřivnice in recent years, and the first such large order for a NATO army from Western Europe.

The Belgian army will receive 636 vehicles in 4x4 chassis configuration (DAF CF YAV designation) and 243 vehicles in 8x8 configuration (DAF CF YAA). The list of versions of the four-axle DAF CF Military vehicles includes variants with a single-arm hook loader for handling containers and container bodies in the form of platforms and rollers, as well as single-sided tippers and a version where the single-arm hook loader is complemented by a hydraulic crane. The double-axle versions are equipped with crossbars for transporting unified containers and flatbeds and can be equipped with a hydraulic crane at the rear. All vehicles will be built on a Tatra-concept chassis with a central load tube, independent swing axle suspension and air suspension and will be equipped with central tyre inflation without exception.

A total of 352 vehicles will be fitted with armoured cabins with a high level of ballistic and mine protection developed and certified by Tatra Defence Vehicle for this project. In addition, the Belgian Ministry of Defence has reserved the option to purchase additional armoured cabs and the relevant technology kits for the eventual replacement of standard cabs on vehicles already ordered - hence the unique design of these vehicles, which can be fitted with both standard and armoured cabs without any problems.

The 4x4 versions are powered by PACCAR MX-11 engines with an output of 300 kW, while the 8x8 versions are equipped with PACCAR MX-13 engines with an output of 340 kW. A significant advantage of the CF Military vehicles is their overall height. This does not exceed 4 metres in all versions, even when carrying the elevated version of the 20ft shipping container (ISO 1cc). DAF Trucks will supply standard unarmoured cabs for more than half of the vehicles. They are completely manufactured at the aforementioned Westerlo plant, as are the interiors for the armoured cabs. The interiors and controls are identical for armoured and unarmoured cabs to make the transition between the two seamless for the crews.

It is certainly not without interest that in another tender by the Belgian Ministry of Defence for the procurement of at least 9 heavy four-axle tractors, DAF Trucks was again successful with a derivative of the DAF CF Military 8x8, i.e. again with a Tatra Defence Vehicle chassis and armoured cab.

DAF will work closely with the Belgian Armed Forces to provide maintenance for the DAF CF Military series trucks. The Belgian DAF dealer network will play an essential role, with designated support centres in Houthalen and Grâce-Hollogne. For maintenance outside Belgium, the DAF dealer network with more than 1,100 locations worldwide is available, as well as the extensive DAF International Truck Service support team. DAF's dealer network can also rely on the support of PACCAR Parts for fast parts availability.

Commenting on the new logistics vehicle project for the Belgian Army, Minister of Defence Ludivine Dedonder said, "Well-built logistics and transport capabilities are essential for the success of military operations. The introduction of these new vehicles is another major step forward for the armed forces. The new vehicles are suitable for operations in any environment and are also literally vital for our military personnel who risk their lives every day for our security. No less than 40 per cent of these vehicles are armoured, providing vital protection for our soldiers when they are in action. If necessary, other vehicles can be fitted with the same type of cab to ensure that our soldiers are safe. I am, of course, very pleased that much of the production will also take place in Belgium. By working with Belgian companies towards our strategic autonomy and the safety of our military personnel, we are in fact strengthening not only our armed forces but the whole country."

"The army must have equipment that it can rely on even in the most demanding and difficult conditions," said Harald Seidel, President of DAF Trucks. "We are therefore extremely proud that the Belgian army has chosen the reliability and unrivalled quality of our CF Military trucks. The versatility of our vehicles proves that DAF also offers excellent logistics solutions for all military purposes," added Harald Seidel.

"Reliable equipment and the safety of our personnel are of the utmost importance," stressed Lieutenant General Frédéric Goetynck, Director General of the DGMR (Directorate General for Material Resources). "We needed to replace our 30-year-old unarmored trucks to ensure the safety of personnel during missions with vehicles that have exceptional off-road capabilities in their category," concluded Frédéric Goetynck.

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