On 23 August, the Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) approved a change of supplier for the Czech Army’s TITUS light armoured vehicles. The new supplier will be Czech firm Eldis Pardubice, which holds the appropriate security clearances and a license from manufacturer Nexter Systems.
Previous supplier Tatra Export failed to obtain the necessary clearances and licenses, leading to the necessity for a change of supplier, according to sources in the Czech government. The change allows a contract to be placed for 42 C2 variants of the vehicle and 20 fire support coordination variants. Total value of the contract, which includes training and the supply of communications and cryptographic systems, is estimated at €221.5 million, with an additional €37 million earmarked for a five-year service support arrangement. Deliveries are scheduled to take place 2020-2025.
Built on a Tatra chassis, the 6x6 TITUS was originally selected by the Czech MoD after competitive trials in 2016 against the SVOS VEGA 4x4. According to sources close to the programme at the time, the TITUS outperformed the VEGA by a considerable margin, scoring over twice the evaluation points of the latter vehicle in trials that examined seven separate performance parameters and demonstrating a tighter turning radius and superior gradient capability. At the time the TITUS was reputed to be some CKR4.5 million (€175,000) lower than the VEGA in terms of unit price – a potential cost saving to the MoD of €11 million.
“Obtaining TITUS vehicles has been one of the army's priorities for several years. Soldiers need this technology, and my goal is to complete the project successfully and quickly. In the near future, I will inform the government of the change of supplier," commented newly appointed Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar.