Can Titus replace ZIL’s and Praga V3S’s?
Part of a large-scale modernization project of the Czech Army is acquisition of 62 Titus armoured vehicles. Their purchase has been already approved by the Government at the end of July 2017, and the final quotation has been signed by representatives of the Ministry of Defence at the end of June of this year. The vehicle was developed by Tatra Trucks from Kopřivnice in cooperation with Nexter Systems from France. The delivery of the vehicles should be realized in the period of 2022 - 2023.
Out of total of 62 wheeled vehicles, 42 pcs will be commanding-staff and connecting vehicles, and 20 pcs - wheeled vehicles of FSCC (Fire Support Coordination Centre) type, including logistic support and training. The price of all vehicles, including accessories and support, is 6.072 milliard CZK, including VAT. By purchasing Titus armoured vehicles, the Czech Armed Forces receive top-quality equipment and, in addition, there are here a possibility of other modernizations and use of this platform, for example, for the army air defence, installation of trench mortars, or also for patrol activity. All variants are possible and more than efficient.
But what really will the actually purchased equipment give the Czech Army?
- Gradual leaving of equipment of previous years (platforms of ZIL, Tatra V3S…) and elimination of amateurish repairs because of a lack of spare parts
- A modern and mobile system of command which eliminates absurdity of building tents and practically impossibility to be mobile at the shortest possible time
- Ballistic protection at the highest level
- Modern communication systems with a level worthy to the NATO Army
- Mutual interconnection of systems – more vehicles in the series, advanced options
- A possibility of upgrading
All of these mentioned advantages are diametrically different from the current abilities of the Czech Army when applying the old or obsolescent equipment. What is essential is that the Army of the Czech Republic will acquire a mobile station with full ballistic protection.
Now, there mightn’t come a time when the place of command consists of a now-legendary „vejtraska“ (slang for the Praga vehicle) with a commander superstructure, which can reach the maximum speed of 80km/h and requires for its service and purpose some other tents to be built. Of cause, in case of discovery by enemy, all has to be packed and displaced to a new place… A solution of the 1960s, in short, can’t work in a modern army.
The Titus combines exclusive driving properties in hard landscape comparable with tracked vehicles and high level of ballistic protection of the crew. The design of the superstructure and the TATRA’s 6x6 central-tube chassis with steerable first and third axles makes the vehicle a multi-purpose platform applicable both in the Armed Forces and in Police as well as in safety or security services. The vehicle has all-wheel drive. While driving on a road, it uses 6x4 drive, and in off-road conditions, it can be switched to 6x6. Axle and inter-axle differentials are equipped with locks. Twenty-inch tyres have an emergency bushing for driving with a defect and also a central inflation system.
The Titus has the following dimensions: length 7.72m, width 2.55m, height 2.73m and the clearance is adjustable in a range from 0.29 to 0.49m. Its weight reaches at least 17t, the combat-ready weight is 23t, the maximum possible weight is 27t. The 500 hp motor is equipped with an automatic transmission. The maximum speed of the vehicle is 110 km/h with a cruising range of 700 km. The Titus has air drum brakes. The vehicle can overcome a slope of 60 per cent, side tilt 30 per cent and is able to come through water with a depth of 1.2m.