Media Day in Tatra: TITUS armored vehicles and the vision of Tatra production for the 21st century
The traditional Tatra Media Day took place at the Kopřivnice site of one of the oldest car manufacturers in the world. Czech and foreign journalists were introduced to the new products not only in the factory halls, but especially on the polygon during dynamic demonstrations. The carmaker, which manages to keep a good name on the world markets thanks to its unique chassis design and other technical specialties of its cars, is also a valid supplier for NATO countries. In particular, the delivery of 897 CF Military all-wheel drive vehicles to the Belgian army and other deliveries to Germany.
Video: Media Day in Tatra 2021 / YouTube
The long-standing technical key to Tatra's success, apart from the engines, is the specific chassis design with a central load-carrying tube with independently swinging half-axles. This gives the Tatra trucks exceptional characteristics for moving both on the road and in difficult terrain. As a result of the above, another advantage of Tatra vehicles is their increased durability. Also characteristic of Tatra vehicles is the fact that, in addition to mass production, a large number of vehicles are made to order. The engines also have to meet strict emission limits and Tatra meets these requirements. "For the Army, the Tatra air-cooled engine is a staple. We are constantly developing it, and are now working on a version that will meet emission standard 7," adds Tatra spokesman Mgr. Andrej Čírtek.
Picture: Apart from the engines, the long-standing technical key to Tatra's success is the design of the chassis with a central load-carrying tube with independently swinging half-axles. | Jan Zilvar / CZ Defence
However, Kopřivnice is also engaged in the development of alternative fuel vehicles, and the military technology for the 21st century envisages the use of such solutions. Whether it is an additional hybrid system suitable for silent movement to a position or for full use of electromobility. "At the moment, a project has been launched in cooperation with the Institute of Nuclear Research in Řež and other partners to develop a Tatra powered by an electric motor. This electric motor will not take its energy from conventional lithium ion batteries, but from hydrogen cells. The energy capacity on board the Tatra will be much larger, and in the case of an alternative-powered vehicle, given its missions, it cannot be relied upon to be in areas with fast-charging capability. Therefore, Tatra will take its "power plant" with it," Čírtek explained.
Picture: A characteristic feature of Tatra vehicles is the fact that, in addition to mass production, a large number of vehicles are built to order. The engines also have to meet strict emission limits. | Jan Zilvar / CZ Defence
While the internal combustion engines for military vehicles will remain for many reasons, the Army needs to address the so-called "silent mode", where vehicles are able to drive noiselessly for 15 to 20 kilometres without leaving a heat signature. "The parallel hybrid, a combination of a conventional diesel engine and an electric motor, is the optimal solution for the army," adds Tatra's marketing director Kamil Košt'ál. The aim of the project is therefore to develop an electric motor capable of using both conventional and alternative propulsion, depending on the needs and conditions.
At last year's meeting with journalists, we were able to see a working sample for the first time, i.e. a pre-prototype of the TITUS 6x6 armoured vehicle produced by Tatra Defence Vehicle (TDV). This year, this vehicle has already undergone a number of tests. TDV has also already completed the construction of the prototype of the MKPP artillery version, which was on display at NATO Days, and the KOVS communications version, which was presented at this year's IDET.
The remaining four prototypes will also be completed by the end of this year. All three versions of the TITUS for the Czech Armed Forces will undergo company, inspection and military trials, followed by series production.