Tatra Defence Vehicle Has Fulfilled a Military Commission for Special Pandurs
The Army of the Czech Republic took over the last ordered pieces of special versions of Pandur II CZ vehicles from Tatra Defence Vehicle company. The Kopřivnice company belonging to the Czechoslovak Group holding thus fulfilled its obligations arising from the contract concluded in 2017.
Picture: The Army of the Czech Republic took over the last ordered pieces of special versions of Pandur II CZ vehicles (pictured) from Tatra Defence Vehicle company | archive of Tatra Defence Vehicle / Public domain
In January 2017, the Ministry of Defence ordered a total of 20 Pandur II CZ 8x8 vehicles in the liaison and command-staff versions in a total value of almost CZK 1.7 billion excluding VAT. The development and subsequent production of vehicles took place in the Czech Republic and involved a number of domestic companies and institutions with the support of General Dynamics European Land Systems corporation, which had previously granted licensing rights for the production of Pandurs in the Czech Republic. In addition to the manufacturer and the main integrator – the Kopřivnice company Tatra Defence Vehicle (TDV) – these were, for example, Retia, the Military Research Institute, the Military Technical Institute of the Ground Forces, Ray Service, Optokon, Interlink CS, B.O.I.S. Filters and more.
Due to the fact that the new special versions of wheeled armoured command-staff vehicles (KOVVŠ) and wheeled armoured liaison vehicles (KOVS) are equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, more than half of their price consists of special communication, liaison, electronic and other equipment, also largely developed and manufactured by Czech companies. The development of new Pandurs for the ACR was completed in the autumn of 2019, when they passed military tests.
In December 2019, the army took over the first 4 new machines. “The successful handover of the vehicles was preceded by the completion of an extensive set of tests in the form of company and control tests at accredited testing laboratories and military tests in training areas and repair bases of the ACR, which took almost 11 months to carry out. Each stage of the testing process was assessed as satisfactory and it was not necessary to suspend or even repeat the testing,” said Tomáš Mohapl, General Manager of Tatra Defence Vehicle.
In 2020, TDV gradually produced and handed over another 16 vehicles to the Czech Armed Forces. In total, the army received 6 pieces of wheeled armoured command-staff vehicles Pandur II CZ 8x8 and 14 pieces of wheeled armoured liaison vehicles Pandur II CZ 8x8. The delivery also included 6 field command posts, which are functionally connected to the command-staff Pandurs. These posts are inflatable tents with a capacity of 10 workplaces with computer terminals, thanks to which it will be possible to expand the number of members of the staff of superior command levels directly in the field. In the coming years, TDV will also provide service support for the new special Pandurs for the Czech Army, as it does on the basis of an agreement with the Ministry of Defence in the case of previously introduced versions of Pandurs made at the turn of the first and second decade.
Most of the delivered vehicles are now part of the equipment of the 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade. “Newly delivered wheeled armoured liaison and command-staff vehicles are an important segment that will strengthen our command posts and significantly contribute to improving the command and control system at both the brigade and battalion levels. At the same time, it will qualitatively strengthen our ability of operational deployment in the Czech Republic, but also abroad. The vehicles are equipped with a specialized infrastructure of communication and information systems, but at the same time they are characterized by high maneuverability, mobility and passableness and provide sufficient ballistic protection for the crew, which is crucial for us. Such sophisticated technology is not only a strengthening element of the entire architecture of the command and control system, but also a commitment and a great challenge, especially in the training of our members,” said the commander of the 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade Colonel of the Gen. Staff Josef Trojánek.
Picture: In the coming years, TDV will also provide service support for the new special Pandurs for the Czech Army, as it does on the basis of an agreement with the Ministry of Defence in the case of previously introduced versions of Pandurs made at the turn of the first and second decade. (illustration photo) | archive of Tatra Defence Vehicle / Public domain
Thanks to their special purpose, the Pandurs of the liaison and command-staff versions show differences from the Pandurs that have been serving in the Czech army for over ten years. TDV designers, for example, designed a new body, mainly due to the installation of a number of electronic systems. The main change is a significant increase in ballistic and mine protection according to STANAG 4569 compared to the existing Pandurs used in the ACR. This was achieved primarily by installing new additional plates of ceramic armour and strengthening the chassis parts of the vehicle. Thanks to these changes, the total weight of both versions has also increased, which is why the brake system has also been strengthened.
The motorization of the new Pandurs is identical to the previous designs. It is a six-cylinder Cummins ISLe T450 HPCR turbodiesel with an output of 335.6 kW, which is able to drive the armoured vehicle up to a speed exceeding 100 km/h with a weight exceeding 22 t. The range is approximately 700 km, the vehicles are able to overcome ditches up to 2.2 m wide, vertical obstacles up to a height of 0.6 m and overcome watercourses by wading through to a level of 1.5 m.