DECON – a new decontamination vehicle on Tatra chassis

 26. 05. 2020      category: Events

During recent years Excalibur Army company has been introducing several new innovations in the field of military and special vehicles. Last year AM-70 EX mobile bridge system or armored vehicle Patriot II 4x4, including its fire reconnaissance version Triton, were introduced. Another current novelty is the DECON decontamination vehicle on the Tatra Force truck chassis.

Tatra Force DECON (4)
Picture: DECON – a new decontamination vehicle on Tatra chassis | Excalibur Army archive

DECON is a special vehicle for rapid decontamination and disinfection of various surfaces, people, vehicles, equipment and buildings, useable for protection against the consequences of weapons of mass destruction, for liquidation of industrial and environmental accidents, but also during epidemics or situations threatening the health and lives of the population. Excalibur Army produces DECON in military and civilian versions, so it is suitable for armed forces, as well as for firefighters and other rescue service units, but useable also in the chemical industry.

Universal disinfection and decontamination platform

The DECON decontamination vehicle is suitable for decontamination of people, weapons, equipment and facilities, external surfaces of military vehicles, including very large machines, small and medium aircraft, or buildings, but also interiors, surface of roads, airfields, etc. DECON can operate as independent decontamination unit, but it is possible to create decontamination line with a large capacity by two or more vehicles. The vehicle equipment allows manual or automatic decontamination using a rotating spray bar installed on the telescopic platform and a static spray bar located on the front of the vehicle or folding spray frame.

Dekontaminační rám
Picture: Folding spray frame | Excalibur Army archive

Excalibur Army designers incorporated into superstructure a hydraulic system, a water intake system with tanks, a boom with a platform, decontamination tools, as well as accessories and equipment for firefighting. DECON equipment includes, for example, an integrated decontamination unit with various pressure water gun, personal decontamination equipment, decontamination shower, steam chamber for decontamination of equipment and tools, stationary decontamination frame with accessories that allows decontamination of vehicle sides and roofs during their slow passage below it, a spray rail mounted on a telescopic platform or a separate tank for polluted water.

DECON has three tanks with an accumulated capacity of 2400 l. One tank holds 1000 l of water, the other two of 700 l each, while the chemical reagents are mixed with water separately according to current needs. The vehicle has a floating water pump as well. The main part of the decontamination system is the powerful Atila unit. The crew can do decontamination with hand pressure water guns, or automatic stationary decontamination using decontamination frames, or flexible decontamination using spray bars, which are installed on the front part of the vehicle and on collapsible telescopic platform. The vehicle can operate in several modes, namely high-pressure application of cold or hot water, spraying hot water under low pressure, decontamination by steam and decontamination with a liquid or powder substances. However, the decontamination unit of the vehicle can also function as an independent auxiliary source of electricity.

Tatra Force DECON (8)
Picture: DECON – a new decontamination vehicle on Tatra chassis | Excalibur Army archive

The telescopic platform expands the abilities

Unlike other decontamination vehicles, such as the ACHR-90 type used in the Army of the Czech Republic, DECON has a platform on a telescopic boom, which significantly increases the efficiency and usability of the entire system. Thanks to it, the crew can decontaminate large vehicles, or even aircraft or buildings. The altitude range of the telescopic platform of DECON on the Tatra Force 4x4 chassis is 12 m, sideways range is then 7 m, in the case of a longer Tatra chassis platform these parameters will increase thank to installation of a longer telescopic boom. The load capacity of the platform exceeds 200 kg, the crew can control the platform using two control consoles, one located directly on the platform, the other on the side of the vehicle.

Tatra Force DECON (5)
Picture: DECON – a new decontamination vehicle on Tatra chassis | Excalibur Army archive

A spray bar can be attached to the bottom edge of the platform. The crew can thus use the platform with telescopic boom as a spray arm and adjust the height and angle of the spray using the platform's controls, for example when vehicle is passing under the platform. The spray bar can also be installed on the front bumper of the vehicle, in this configuration DECON is designed for decontamination of roads, airfields and taxiways or decontamination workplaces, but also for fire extinguishing. The DECON decontamination system is not limited to the use of specific types of substances, it can work with any treatment mixtures. In addition, it can also extinguish fires or pump off water from flooded areas, so its use is wide and its capabilities are useable not only by the armed forces but also in the units of the integrated rescue system or civil protection.

Tatra Force DECON ER (1)
Picture: DECON – a new decontamination vehicle on Tatra chassis | Excalibur Army archive

DECON in the current version stands on the proven Tatra Force 4x4 platform, which is already used by Czech Army. It therefore uses a unique chassis concept with a central backbone tube and independent swinging half-axles with air suspension, thanks to that the vehicle has excellent driving characteristics in difficult terrain or on the road and high mobility. The air suspension system allows the driver to increase the ground clearance by 70 mm or reduce it by 100 mm while driving directly from the cab. The maximum weight of the vehicle is 19 t, measuring 9.1 m in length and with the folded platform, so it is easily transported by transport aircraft.

Video: New decontamination vehicle DECON in action | YouTube

Excalibur Army offers the DECON vehicle in military or civilian version also on the Tatra Force 6x6 chassis, which brings, for example, higher tank capacity, more power of the entire system or the range of a telescopic boom with a platform. It is also possible to choose between a standard or armored cabin for the crew with various degrees of resistance. Excalibur Army can also adapt the superstructure and its layout and equipment according to customer requirements. The eight-cylinder air-cooled Tatra T3C-928.81 diesel engine with a maximum output of 270 kW at 1800 rpm is used for propulsion, with which the vehicle reaches a speed of up to 115 km/h, with a limiter then 90 km/h, the range is up to 1000 km.

 Author: Martin Šiška