Slovak Ground Forces take delivery of telescopic container handlers
Over the last few weeks, discussions regarding the modernisation of the Slovak Armed Forces (SAF) have focused mainly on major modernisation projects, such as the purchase of new tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles or 8x8 wheeled armoured vehicles. However, the importance of smaller modernisation projects, which are also very important for the Ground Forces, should not be forgotten. The Ground Forces also perform a number of logistical and supply tasks, and they need adequate technology and equipment for this. That is why the Rail Operations Unit recently took delivery of new container handlers.
On 14 September, the Railway Operations Unit, which is subordinate to the Logistics Battalion in Hlohovec, took delivery of the first four telescopic container handlers. The container handlers were delivered to the Slovak Ground Forces by the Italian company MAGNI TH and the purchase of a total of eight container handlers, worth EUR 6,448,560 including VAT, was made through the NSPA agency. According to the specification published by the Ministry of Defence on its website, these should be telescopic HTH 30 series container handlers. The HTH 30.12 series container handlers have a lifting capacity of up to 30 tonnes, provide good manoeuvrability in all types of terrain thanks to their 4x4 drive and three driving modes, and their design allows for the handling of SO 1A, B, C, CC and D containers.
The handover of the first four telescopic container handlers took place at the Military Technical and Testing Institute Záhorie. In connection with the handover of the new container handlers, Minister of Defence Jaroslav Nad said that these handlers will be used for the fulfilment of specified tasks, including preparation and training. In addition, the manipulators will also be used for tasks related to the handling of the Armed Forces' supplies at the supply base and, if necessary, they can also be used for domestic crisis management purposes.
Although this is a relatively small modernisation project, it is a significant step forward for the Hlohovec Logistics Battalion. The Slovak Armed Forces have a large number of different types of containers at their disposal and, as the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic points out, an adequate means of handling these containers was missing in the equipment of the ground forces. The Logistics Battalion in Hlohovec often works with different types of containers and therefore the acquisition of telescopic container handlers is in order. For example, last year, soldiers from this battalion assisted in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, when they were mainly involved in logistics related to the delivery of different types of containers to test sites. The Hlohovec logistics battalion used Tatra T 815 side loaders for loading containers onto train sets, which will now be supplemented by new HTH 30.12 series telescopic container handlers.