In today's military world there exists a definite global shift concerning military vehicle procurement. This shift has seen national powers move away from heavy, complicated, and expensive tracked systems to lighter, multirole, wheeled vehicles. The fighting in places like Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Mali have showcased to warplanners the value of armored, agile, mine-resistant vehicles accomplishing a variety of roles in support of infantry actions across a variety of environments. In September of 2013, the French concern of Nexter introduced their hopeful champion in the wheeled mine-resistant vehicle field, the 6x6 wheeled TITUS ("Tactical Infantry Transport & Utility System"). Nexter is the firm also responsible for the French Army's Leclerc Main Battle Tank (MBT), VBCI Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), and the CAESAR Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) - thus its experience in the field is well recognized.
The multirole aspect of the TITUS is handled through its inherent modularity and the availability of mission kits to convert the base platform to suit the mission ahead. The armor protection and armament suite are both modular by their very nature, allowing armies to procure the basic vehicle and modify it to suit their mission requirement(s) - a popular quality in today's global military procurement market. The TITUS protects its crew and passengers from small arms fire, shell splinters, IEDs (Improved Explosive Devices), and land mines - the latter two to certain extents dependent on blast force. Thus, the vehicle can operate in contested areas with some certainty as to its survivability in-the-field. Since the vehicle can mount most any existing Remote Weapon System (RWS), armament can be arranged to suit the missile need - from 7.62mm and 12.7mm machines to 40mm automatic grenade launchers. The remote-controlled station allows for engagement of light enemy forces from the protected confines of the TITUS vehicle.
The vehicle takes on a stout, bulky look with a high center-of-gravity. The diesel engine is mounted at the front of the hull behind a horizontally slatted grill panel allowing the rear of the hull to support passenger seating and any applicable mission equipment. The hood is well-sloped for basic ballistics protection and a wide-yet-slim front windscreen is bulletproof and provides excellent, elevated viewing of the territory ahead. The driving cab is accessed by traditional automobile-style, hinged doors, each fitted with thick bulletproof glass blocks. The vehicle features good ground clearance and six run-flat tires are used across three independently-suspended axles. The armament station is fitted over the front of the vehicle at the roof line (slightly offset to left). A typical operating crew is two or three dedicated personnel while the passenger area can seat up to twelve combat-ready personnel. A twin door arrangement at the hull's rear face allows for quick disembarking/embarking of troops.
Power for the line is served through a Cummins diesel engine of 440 horsepower output. This is mated to an Allison transmission system. Al told, road speeds reach 110 kmh with operational ranges out to 700 kilometers. The vehicle can also cross certain water sources up to 1.2 meters without installation of amphibious gear. The vehicle can traverse off-road as well as on-road with mobility being a key design consideration alongside protection.
The inherent "mine-resistance" quality of TITUS adds another layer of survivability needed on today's battlefield - primarily intended to sacrifice the vehicle to save the occupants. An extensive onboard Battlefield Management System (BMS) integrates with existing communications systems for full real-time support in-the-field - increasing survivability, unit cohesion, and crucial situational awareness for the crew. The latter quality is of key importance, allowing an infantry squad being carried into combat to dismount the vehicle only after the surrounding area is deemed non-hazardous. Four cameras assist in viewing around the vehicle as do thick, rectangular viewing blocks along the rear hull sides. An NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) suite is listed as standard.
The TITUS is being marketed in other useful battlefield forms beyond its basic armored carrier platform. These include a communications-enhanced command post vehicle, a mortar carrier (120mm) for fire support actions, an armored ambulance, a target-assist ground vehicle, and an ammunition resupply vehicle. There also exists a COunter INsugency vehicle as the TITUS COIN, a tactical police assault model as the TITUS SWAT, and the TITUS WCT "Water Cannon Truck" for riot control.
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