The first training of driver-instructors for the new TITUS 6x6 vehicle took place in Vyškov

 21. 07. 2023      category: Events
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Recently we had the opportunity to attend the first training course for drivers-instructors on the new TITUS 6x6 vehicle, which took place in the premises of the Training Command - Military Academy Vyškov. The driver training was conducted directly by the manufacturer of the TITUS vehicles, who gradually introduced the soldiers to the vehicle, its features and characteristics.

Video: Report: first training of drivers-instructors for the new TITUS 6x6 / CZ DEFENCE

The entire course lasted 10 days, during which the first group of selected driver-instructors from the individual units where the new TITUS vehicles will serve, first attended the theoretical part of the classroom training, followed by practical driving.

titus_07Picture: The TITUS 6x6 armoured vehicles of the KOVS and MKPP are ready to go to the training polygon | Michal Pivoňka / CZ DEFENCE

The drivers trained on the communications (KOVS) version of TITUS and the MKPP (fire support coordination point) version, under the supervision of experienced instructors from Tatra Defence Vehicle and Tatra Defence Systems respectively.

First, the soldiers were familiarised with the basic operation of the vehicle itself and its elements (depending on the version) and then went to the training polygon, which is unique within the Czech Armed Forces Training Command-Military Academy, to complete various types of obstacles. In addition to traversing various terrain bumps and ditches, the driver must also learn to keep a perfect "eye" on the vehicle, which will be tested, for example, by slalom or precise parking (front/rear) in a designated area that is only about 20 cm wider/longer than the armoured vehicle itself.

titus_03Picture: The TITUS 6x6 armoured vehicles of the KOVS and MKPP are ready to go to the training polygon | Michal Pivoňka / CZ DEFENCE

The TITUS vehicle is driver specific – the driver has to get used to 3 axles with steerable front and rear axles, where the vehicle controls and behaves a bit differently compared to a classic Tatra army truck, for example. The aim of the exercise was therefore not to fly through the terrain of the polygon at maximum speed, but rather to drive through the terrain slowly with the aim of getting the vehicle as much as possible into the hand and to find out how the TITUS actually behaves in the terrain and what the driver can expect from it.

On the training polygon, we were attended by Master Sergeant Vlastimil Basovník, who serves as an instructor at the Transport Education Centre at the Combat Vehicle Driver Training Centre. On the day of our visit, 10 driver-instructors were familiarizing themselves with the engine and chassis of the vehicle. The first impressions of Chief Master Sergeant Basovnik about the TITUS vehicle are positive, it is a relatively large vehicle with excellent manoeuvrability, among other things due to the specific chassis with steerable rear axle, which the driver has to get used to.

titus_04Picture: Interior of the TITUS 6x6 vehicle | Michal Pivoňka / CZ DEFENCE

Bohdan Pírek, an instructor from Tatra Defence Systems, who has conducted his own training of driver-instructors on TITUS vehicles, then described to us, among other things, the chassis levelling function of TITUS vehicles in the KOVVŠ and KOVS versions, which is used to safely extend the vehicle's mast, with most of the processes taking place automatically.

titus_05Picture: Interior of the TITUS 6x6 vehicle | Michal Pivoňka / CZ DEFENCE

At the end of the training, the driver-instructors will have gained a complete overview of the TITUS vehicle design, basic maintenance, safe use of the vehicle and, of course, the drivers will be able to drive the TITUS safely, both on paved roads and off-road, including overcoming all kinds of obstacles.

In 2017, the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic ordered a total of 62 TITUS armoured vehicles for the Czech Army in three versions – 6 units in the command and staff version (KOVVŠ) with 6 staff stations, 36 units in the communications version (KOVS) and 20 vehicles will serve as fire support coordination points (MKPP). The first deliveries of production TITUS vehicles in all 3 variants have already taken place, with the Army taking delivery of less than two dozen vehicles so far, with more to follow this year and next. The total value of the contract is CZK 6 billion. As these are really high quality vehicles with excellent capabilities, it is not excluded that the army will demand more TITUS vehicles in the future.

titus_06Picture: Training in the process of chassis leveling of the TITUS 6x6 KOVS | Michal Pivoňka / CZ DEFENCE

The development and production of TITUS armoured vehicles demonstrates the successful transformation of the Czech arms industry, for which the successful implementation of the project represents a major technological leap. TITUS was created through the cooperation of the Kopřivnice-based companies Tatra Defence Vehicle and Tatra Trucks, the French arms company Nexter and the Pardubice-based company Retia, which focuses on electrical military equipment. The last time a wheeled armoured personnel carrier was developed in Czechoslovakia was in the 1960s, when it was the successful OT-64 SKOT, of which 4,500 were produced and served in our army until the 1990s. Thanks to the project, Tatra Defence Vehicle changed from a design and engineering company into a full-fledged production company and purchased new production technologies for the needs of the project implementation. The TITUS project also means strategic support for Czech industry, which is becoming competitive in the field of armoured vehicle production. The Czech economy as such is also supported, thanks to the support of Czech companies and employees the state receives funds from levies and taxes.

titus_08Picture: Overcoming one of the obstacles on the training polygon, where the driver has to drive into a designated area, which is only slightly wider than the armoured vehicle itself. | Michal Pivoňka / CZ DEFENCE

Compared to armoured vehicles of the MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) category, TITUS is unique due to its high level of durability and high mobility. MRAP vehicles, which were used in large numbers in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, were characterised by high durability, but at the expense of mobility. These vehicles were not capable of driving in difficult terrain and had to navigate on paved roads, making them easy targets for ambushes and IEDs.

titus_10Picture: Driving with the third steerable axle engaged | Michal Pivoňka / CZ DEFENCE

The TITUS, on the other hand, has the same or greater durability, but thanks to the Tatra chassis, the vehicle has no problems driving on difficult terrain and can therefore be moved together with combat vehicles and is therefore classified as a modern MRAV (Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle).

titus_11Picture: TITUS showed excellent manoeuvrability on the slalom | Michal Pivoňka / CZ DEFENCE

As far as the electronic and communication equipment of the new TITUS for the Army is concerned, these are the most advanced technological systems within NATO military equipment. This is mainly due to several years of development, during which it was necessary to adapt all systems to the requirements of the Czech Army.

titus_02Picture: TITUS armoured vehicle in the field | Michal Pivoňka / CZ DEFENCE

General parameters of the TITUS 6x6 armoured vehicle

  • MRAV (Multi-role Armored Vehicle) category
  • Crew of 4 persons, number varies by vehicle type
  • High ballistic protection (STANAG 3). Body welded from heavy armoured sheet metal, with armoured plates and windows on the outside, internal walls lined with composite materials (spall liner). Effective protection against infantry weapons, heavy machine guns and artillery ammunition fragments, mines and IEDs.
  • TATRA T 815-7 Force chassis with central tube and independently suspended, air-sprung semi-axles with first and third axles steerable
  • Air suspension system with the possibility of changing the vehicle ground clearance. Outer turning radius 13 m, climb rate 60%, side roll value 30%. Tactical tyres 16,00 R20 with central inflation system, which allows not only adjusting the tyre pressure for different surfaces, but also driving with tyre punctures
  • Vehicle speed on paved roads up to 110 km/h with a range of up to 700 km
  • Universal armament carrier – Remote controlled weapon stations with the ability to mount a 12.7 mm calibre machine gun or 40 mm calibre grenade launcher. Possibility of installing a remote-controlled turret with a 20 mm rapid-fire gun and a 7.62 mm machine gun. Possibility of mounting up to three light machine guns on the hatch at the three roof hatches. Firing is also possible with a gun located in the folding ramp. Other versions of the TITUS armoured personnel carrier allow for the function of weapon system carriers – anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles or a mortar of 120 mm calibre
  • Electronic and communication systems provide classified and unclassified radio communication and data link in VHF and UKV bands and also by satellite tactical communication (SATCOM), including the use of integrated cryptomodules
  • The vehicle is equipped with the already proven STAR Light 3 SF protective jammer from the Czech company URC Systems spol. s r.o. The jammer protects against the current threats of radio remotely launched IEDs, including 4G and 5G mobile communication systems. The system is ready for connection of a dedicated anti-drone jamming module (MAD). Also new is liquid cooling to reduce the jammer's build volume. The jammer succeeded in military trials
  • Power is provided by an alternator connected to the vehicle's engine when the vehicle is moved. In both stationary and autonomous modes, the engine is switched off and the electronic systems are powered either from batteries, mains or a generator
  • The radios and necessary components in the new MKPP vehicles will be compatible with the equipment already in place in the Czech Army. The new titles will also allow the fitting of a Battlefield Identification Friend or Foe (BIFF) system that can recognise own-foreign units
  • Protection of the crew from the effects of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons

titus_TITPicture: Armoured vehicle TITUS in the field | Michal Pivoňka / CZ DEFENCE

 Author: Michal Pivoňka

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