A record number of companies has signed up to the tender for new off-road vehicles for the Army of the Czech Republic

 23. 12. 2019      category: Army of the Czech Republic

Army has started a large-scale modernisation and intends to continue in this spirit next year, too. One of the last military tenders concerned the purchase of off-road passenger vehicles.  Approximately eight companies were interested in the tender for the delivery of new off-road vehicles. The deadline for the submission of tenders was 20th December 2019. However, the contract was annulled on 23rd December 2019. We can only suspect who could win. Nevertheless, we can look at different scenarios with regard to prioritizing the lowest price. 

Unfortunately, we do not know the exact specifications that the army requires. However, the four-wheel drive is obvious. There are other decisive elements, whether the specifications cover the differential lock, chassis stiffening, eventually the overall size of the vehicle, the number of seats, the possibility of folding seats in the luggage compartment. The army now uses the UAZ and Land Rover cars.

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Picture: UAZ 469B | army.cz

Firstly, the technology is as old as the current Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Army, the Army General Aleš Opata. Secondly, these are not very happily purchased vehicles. That is because these were not military special vehicles as in case of foreign armies, but the vehicles were designed for farmers with additional adjustments. In any case, the perspective of the outdated off-road vehicles in the service of the Army of the Czech Republic is deplorable.

LR Defender Kajman (6)
Picture: Land Rover Defender 130 Kajman | DP

If we take into account the presentation of vehicles that were seen in Vyškov on the so-called Industrial Day many years ago, we are able to find a wide range of interesting vehicles there. There were 12 companies at the event that presented 20 different brands of vehicles in more than 50 different modifications. 

The verified vehicle Mercedes-Benz G. may be one of the front-runners of the off-road vehicles for the Army of the Czech Republic. The motor vehicle Mercedes-Benz G-series (Geländewagen) has basically originated as a German response to the British Land Rover. It was designed with regard to the military use and its production started in 1979. A range of modernized civilian versions has been offered currently. However, the appearance for military customers has not changed much.

mercedesG
Picture: Mercedes-Benz G-series (Geländewagen) | Wikimedia Commons

Major companies, such as GDELS, Jeep, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Dacia, Renault, SVOS, VOP CZ, VW or Škoda were represented at the event. It is possible to assume that virtually the same composition of companies will be interested in the tender for the new off-road vehicles for the Army of the Czech Republic. Overall, it should cover 600 to 1200 vehicles worth up to 2 billion Czech korunas.

Toyota certainly belongs among front runners of the tender for the purchase of new off-road passenger vehicles.  Only few vehicles in the light of experience and popularity gained the similar position as the British Land Rover. The Japanese Toyota Land Cruiser certainly also belongs to this small group. Its production already started in 1951 and along with a small relative type of Toyota Hilux it belongs to the absolute top in its category nowadays. By the end of 2018, about 6.5 million units were delivered. Not an insignificant part serves in the armed forces, including the Army of the Czech Republic that uses the serial models of the Toyota Land Cruiser 100, 120, 150, 200 and RC15.

toyota_09
Picture: Toyota Land Cruiser | DP

Domestic brand Škoda and its model Kodiaq look very good. However, you would hardly find a version with such high passability through terrain, such as Land Rover or UAZ. Actually, the company SVOS hasn’t had the best experience with the defence and the company has recently even initiated legal steps to cancel the supplies of the Perun vehicles for the specials. That is why I do not see much room for new cooperation.

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Picture: If the defence insists on the lowest purchase price, as it also turns out very often, the soldiers can drive, for example, Dacia Duster at the military training areas in Libavá or Doupov in the following years. | Wikimedia Commons

If the defence insists on the lowest purchase price, as it turns out very often, the soldiers can drive, for example, Dacia Duster at the military training areas in Libavá or Doupov in the following years. There seems to be enough money in the budget, nevertheless, they are unable to spend it. Let’s hope that the army will have new, high-quality and durable long-life vehicles available soon.

 Author: Patrik Beran