Czech TITUS 6x6 armoured vehicles are now also part of the Multinational Battle Group Slovakia

 20. 02. 2024      Category: Ground forces

The Multinational Battle Group Slovakia (MN BG SVK), which was established in the spring of 2022 as part of the effort to strengthen the eastern wing of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in response to Russia's aggression against Ukraine, has three new TITUS 6x6 armoured vehicles in its arsenal as part of the 4th rotation of the Czech representation. Some military equipment has also been replaced by other members of MN BG SVK. Let us therefore introduce the current main combat forces of the multinational battle group, which is located at the Training Centre Lešt'.

"The basic element of our task force is the multinational battalion. One of its tasks is, among other things, to pass the operational readiness assessment system according to common NATO standards and subsequently achieve official capability that the entire unit, command and control systems, including its equipment and armament, meet the defined standards and criteria," explains the contingent commander, Colonel Petr Blecha.

Legionaries' legacy

The largest Czech representation within the multinational battalion is from the 71st Mechanised Battalion from Hranice, which follows the traditions of the 2nd Czechoslovak Cavalry Regiment. The battalion bears the honorific name "Siberian" after the First Republic legionnaires who took part in the famous battles on the Trans-Siberian Railway after the end of the First World War.

More than 400 Czech soldiers also brought with them modern equipment and technology. "This is the first time the TITUS 6x6 armoured liaison vehicle has been on a foreign mission, and it fundamentally increases the ability to link up with the means of communication used by other nations," said Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Radek Šoman. In addition, it features high maneuverability with automatic and additional mechanical transmissions, including environmental sensing with four cameras mounted on the sides, front and rear. It is armed with a MINIMI 7.62 mm machine gun on the receiver.

Picture: Armoured vehicle TITUS 6x6 | MN BG SVK
Picture: Armoured vehicle TITUS 6x6 | MN BG SVK

The Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic ordered a total of 62 TITUS armoured vehicles for the Czech Army in 2017, in three versions - 6 units in the command and staff version (KOVVŠ) with 6 staff stations, 36 units in the liaison version (KOVS) and 20 vehicles will serve as fire support coordination points (MKPP).

But this is not the only equipment that the Czech soldiers have at their disposal. They also have BVP-2s, Iveco light armoured vehicles, Pandur 8x8 wheeled armoured command-and-staff vehicle (KOVVS) and 120 mm mortars carried on Tatra vehicles.

The Czech Republic is represented in the multinational battalion not only by border soldiers, but also, for example, by members of the mechanised company of the 73rd tank battalion from Přáslavice or the 13th artillery regiment from Jince, who cooperate with the Slovak mortar battery, which includes a Slovak firing platoon using a 98 mm mortar.

The oldest armored battalion of the Bundeswehr

The group also includes German soldiers in a reinforced armoured company. It is composed of the 92nd Armored Infantry Battalion (Armoured Grenadiers) from Münster, which is the oldest armored infantry element of the Bundeswehr. The company's second unit is the 141st Supply Battalion Neustadt am Rübenberge, which consists of logisticians, engineers or medics. The main weapon at the company's disposal is a modern infantry fighting vehicle, the Puma, which is armed with a 30 mm gun with a swivel turret with thermal imaging.

Picture: German Puma infantry fighting vehicle | MN BG SVK
Picture: German Puma infantry fighting vehicle | MN BG SVK

In addition, they have a Dingo and a GTK Boxer, which they use for reconnaissance, support and casualty evacuation. They are also supported by a Büffel recovery vehicle and an Elefant heavy equipment transporter.

American Rakkasans

The third largest force in the multinational battalion in Slovakia is a company of the U.S. 33rd Cavalry (Mechanized) Regiment, part of the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, out of Fort Campbell. With their traditional HMMWV (Humvee) armored vehicles that have seen combat in Iraq or Afghanistan, they bring with them an interesting history.

Picture: American armored vehicle HMMWV (Humvee) | DEFENSE MAGAZINE
Picture: American armored vehicle HMMWV (Humvee) | DEFENSE MAGAZINE

They are proud of their ancestors because they took part in famous battles in World War II or the Persian Gulf. Their nickname was coined after the end of World War II, when American troops were an occupation force in Japan. And it was during post-war parachuting exercises that they earned the name "Rakkasan", loosely translated as "falling umbrella = parachute", from the locals observing the training.

The Slovenian "Pandur"

Members of the 10th Infantry Regiment, which is part of the 1st Brigade of the Slovenian Armed Forces from Ljubljana, Slovakia, use the APC Valuk wheeled armoured vehicle, which is essentially an upgraded version of the Pandur 6x6.

Picture: Armored infantry vehicle Valuk of the Slovenian Armed Forces | DEFENSE MAGAZINE
Picture: Armored infantry vehicle Valuk of the Slovenian Armed Forces | DEFENSE MAGAZINE

Among its highlights is a six-cylinder Steyr turbodiesel engine with a heavy 12.7 mm machine gun or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. The regiment was established in 1996 as the 10th Battalion of International Cooperation. Within a few years, it underwent a transformation from a light (motorized) battalion to the regiment-sized element it is today.

 Author: Michal Pivoňka