About RETIA Pardubice and its current defence projects – armored vehicles and MADR (part III)

About RETIA Pardubice and its current defence projects – armored vehicles and MADR (part III)
Caption: KOVS and KOVVŠ Pandur II vehicles
27 / 02 / 2020, 10:00

In addition to radar technology, RETIA is also working on other projects of the Czech defence industry, such as the Pandur II or the TITUS wheeled armored vehicles. The company is ready to support the tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles projects, and it takes part in the Mobile Air Defence Radar acquisition. Final part of the interview with Roman Bohunek, Chairman of the Board of Directors of RETIA.

Part I, Part II

  • In addition to radar technology, you are also working on other projects of the Czech defence industry. Recently the new special versions of the Pandur II vehicles for the Czech Army successfully passed the troop tests and the first pieces have already been delivered to the army. What are the vehicles and what is RETIA's role in this project?

These are the Wheeled Armored Communications Vehicle (KOVS) and Wheeled Armored Command Post Vehicle (KOVVŠ) and their respective workplaces. RETIA participated in this project as the main contractor and integrator of electronic and communication equipment of the vehicles, which was defined by the future user, the Czech Army. Our specialists were primarily responsible for ensuring the required functionality of the systems with regard to prescribed standards and standards.

See also: New special Pandur II weeled armored vehicles for the Czech Army are passing troop tests

  • A few months ago, the Czech government signed an order for 62 TITUS armored vehicles. Will RETIA, as a specialist in state-of-the-art electronic systems, also participate in the supply of these vehicles for the Czech Armed Forces and what will it specifically be in charge of?

Yes, RETIA is also involved in this project. The role of our company in the TITUS project for the Czech Army will be similar to the special versions of KOVS and KOVVŠ Pandur II vehicles. Technically, it is actually a follow-up project in which we will be able to effectively use the acquired know-how. But there is one significant difference. While pandurs have served in the army for several years and new special versions are based on them technically and complement them, in the case of TITUS the vehicle is a completely new type, which the army will introduce into its equipment. Working on the integration of electronic and communication equipment into TITUS vehicles will therefore be a new challenge for our company, it will certainly contribute to the further development of the capabilities of our specialists and we will also gain new technological and project experience.

See also: Czech Army’s Modernization Projects: Wheeled Command Post Vehicles

  • At IDET 2019, you and Jens Bauer, Director of International Cooperation at GDELS, signed a memorandum on possible cooperation in the production and delivery of ASCOD 2 vehicles if the Ministry of Defence selected them in the current tender for new tracked vehicles for the Czech Army. What would a possible cooperation look like and how would RETIA participate in the project?

RETIA is ready to cooperate on the project of tracked armored vehicles for the Army of the Czech Republic in a similar format as on the projects of special versions of vehicles Pandur II and TITUS. Our  company can offer knowledge of the local environment and standards to potential suppliers of the tracked vehicles. We have the capabilities and capacities to cooperate in the field of integration of necessary electronic equipment, security systems and subcontracting. For example, we can ensure the integration of IT structures and electronic components such as special computers, intercoms, communication devices, CCTV systems, antenna systems, software and diagnostics, etc. We also have experience in integrating combat elements into operational and tactical ground and air force command and control systems.

See also: IDET 2019 - memorandum signed between GDELS and RETIA (ASCOD 2 IFV)

  • The Ministry of Defense also signed an agreement with the Israeli side to supply 3D MADR radars for the Czech army. At the same time, RETIA signed an agreement on industrial cooperation with Elta Systems on the supply of Elta EL / M-2084 radars for the Czech Army. What is the role of RETIA in this large and crucial modernization project for the Army?

Based on signed contracts, our company has become a major and strategic industrial partner for the Elta Systems company within the project of supplying MADR radars to the Czech Army. Thanks to its knowledge and experience with the Czech and Alliance air defence systems, RETIA will significantly contribute to the integration of Israeli radars into the air defence of the Czech Republic and to the integration into NATO systems. Specialists of our company will also participate in radar certification, technical documentation creation, in cooperation with an Israeli partner, we will provide training of operators from the Czech Army to be able to use all the capabilities of this modern technology, and we will also secure the entire project logistically.

See also: RETIA is the general Czech industrial partner in the MADR project

RETIA will also integrate third-party components such as 8x8 chassis from Tatra Trucks into radar systems. In cooperation with the Kopřivnice car manufacturer we will create a technical solution for the mobile platform exactly according to the needs of the Czech Army.

  • Can you specify what RETIA will produce in the framework of the new MADR radar project for the Czech Army and what it will mean for your company in terms of technology cooperation with Elta Systems?

The value of the contract concluded between our company and the Israeli partner is in the order of hundreds of millions of crowns, and the production of radar components intended for the Czech Army will begin this year. Regarding specific production items, undoubtedly the most important will be the production of antenna modules for MADR radars based on advanced gallium nitride technology. Elta Systems will transfer the necessary know-how to us and install the production line. It will not only be used to manufacture Elta EL / M-2084 radar components, but also to keep them in working order for up to decades of planned life. The transfer of know-how and production will mean, besides the economic effect, further technological development and gaining new experience and knowledge that we will be able to apply in future projects.

  • In addition to the development and production of radars and special electronic systems, your company also operates in the field of special recording systems. What is currently your main product in this area?

In this area we offer ReDat recording and analytical system, which is designed especially for civilian sphere. ReDat is a highly sophisticated system for recording voice, image and other relevant data, which is automatically analyzed to be presented in a clear and structured form to people working in management processes. ReDat finds its use mainly in the area of ​​air traffic control, in contact centers, dispatching centers and at the same time the system is also provided for the management of railway routes. Regarding, for example, the principle of operation in the field of air traffic control, ReDat enables short and long-term archiving of recorded voice communications records, air traffic controllers screens, synchronous simultaneous playback of audio, video and radar data, transcription and live listening. People can also encounter ReDat, for example, when communicating with the Integrated Rescue System, or when communicating with contact centers of banks, operators or various institutions.

  • So can we say that this is a very widespread system and you have commercial success with it?

We started its development in 1995, when we produced the first radar data recording system for military users. Success has convinced us of extending the platform for commercial use, and ReDat has thus expanded into several areas we have already mentioned. RETIA supplies this system to many countries on several continents. ReDat supplies and installations in EU countries as well as in Africa and Asia are very valuable references for air traffic control alone. In India, for example, ReDat systems help with operations at 41 airports.

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