Czech company Excalibur Army cooperates with the Croatian company Đuro Đaković in the production of armoured vehicles
The Excalibury Army company is a leading Czech manufacturer of land military systems and special vehicles. In recent years, it has introduced a number of new projects in the field of artillery and missile systems, armoured vehicles and special equipment for military and civilian use. It also cooperates with global manufacturers of military equipment from Western Europe.
The company Excalibur Army, which belongs to the industrial-technological holding Czechoslovak Group of the entrepreneur Michal Strnad, used to focus mainly on repairs and modernization of older technology in the past. In recent years, however, it emphasizes the development and production of new and modern combat systems, armoured vehicles, and special vehicles usable in the armed forces, but also in rescue or fire brigades. The growth of the company and cooperation with new partners abroad relate to new projects. Excalibur Army has been cooperating with the companies within the Czechoslovak Group holding for a long time, such as Tatra Trucks, Tatra Defence Vehicle, Retia and others, important foreign partners are Nexter Systems and General Dynamics European Systems, Elbit Systems, KMW and others.
So far, the newest partner of the Excalibur Army company is the Croatian company Đuro Đaković, into which the Czech holding companies CE Industries (owned by the entrepreneur Jaroslav Strnad) and Promet Group (owned by the entrepreneur René Matera) enter and manage it. The cooperation between Excalibur Army and Đuro Đaković specifically concerns the project of the Patriot II 4x4 armoured vehicle on a Tatra chassis. The Patriot II 4x4 armoured vehicle was introduced at the IDET trade fair in 2019 for the first time and has undergone further development since then. The first version had an armoured cabin developed in collaboration with Israeli industry. Later, the Excalibur Army developed a new type of cabin that has a new welded base, and the vehicle with this type of cabin being presented to the public for the first time at the MSPO trade fair in Kielce last year.
Excalibur Army has been busy with a number of new projects in recent months, so the company was looking for a proven and reliable partner with experience in the production of armoured vehicles. Excalibur Army has found Đuro Đaković as the partner, and last autumn the managements of both companies entered into a contractual partnership for the production of armoured cabins for Patriot II vehicles in Croatia. The choice of Đuro Đaković was not accidental, as it has been specializing for decades in the production of welded structures or hulls for military vehicles, as well as in the production, repair and maintenance of armoured vehicles and military equipment.
The company has a long engineering tradition, which began in 1921. It is the oldest Croatian producer of engineering products, which include not only special vehicles and military equipment but also railway wagons and vehicles or bridge structures. However, the company does not live only from tradition, it also has references from projects of production of modern military vehicles for the Croatian army. These include cooperation with Patria and Kongsberg companies in the supply of Patria AMV 8x8 armoured vehicles or modernization projects for M-84 tank and its derivatives. Most recently, Đuro Đaković will also be involved in deliveries of Bradley armoured vehicles to the Croatian army, working with BAE Systems.
Cooperation on the Patriot II project can be the basis for further and long-lasting cooperation between Excalibur Army and Đuro Đaković. The Croatian company has already delivered to Excalibur Army the first basic welded structures of cabs made from Armox material for Patriot II 4x4 vehicles, which are intended for a foreign customer. Patriot II cabs can achieve STANAG level 3 or 4 of ballistic resistance with various levels of additional ceramic armour. The vehicles are assembled by Excalibur Army in its production facilities.
The Patriot II 4x4 is a medium armoured vehicle that uses a Tatra chassis with a central backbone tube, swinging independently suspended half-axles and all-wheel drive. The Tatra chassis guarantees excellent driving characteristics in difficult terrain and on paved roads as well. Patriot II can be equipped with various engines, such as liquid-cooled Cummins engines or air-cooled Tatra V8 engines. The vehicle has a modular concept and falls into the weight category of 13 to 17.5 tons.
Thanks to its versatility and modularity, the Patriot II is suitable for combat deployment, patrol or reconnaissance missions. It represents a suitable platform for command, communication, communication, chemical or medical vehicles or a carrier of weapon systems. However, it can also be used by security forces and civilian units, such as the police, fire brigades, rescuers, security services and others. There is a version for firefighters called TRITON. The construction of the vehicle allows the installation of turrets with manually operated weapons up to 14.5 mm calibre or remote-controlled weapons stations with cannons up to 20 mm calibre or grenade launchers. In addition, the Patriot II can be equipped with guided missiles or a mortars.