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Armored Cars: Excalibur Army T815-7 Patriot

January 8, 2019

Via Excalibur Army.

One of the newest tactical 4×4’s in Central Europe is a joint venture between two Czech companies, Excalibur Army and Tatra. The result is the impressive Patriot based on the”Tatra Force” T815-7 chassis tailored for military trucks that must perform off-road and rugged driving. The Patriot is meant for operators who value firepower, mobility, and protection in high risk environments; it meets all three criteria and still boasts of modular options. But with only a year gone by since being unveiled, with multiple appearances in regional arms shows to raise its profile, the Patriot’s selling points won’t be tested until it reaches an active war zone.

To recognize the Patriot, it’s easiest to simply take note of the slanted gaps that almost conceal its headlights. The distinct contours of its hood or bonnet are unique as well. Its layout conforms to other trucks of the same class, with a four-door arrangement in the cab and a small rear compartment for storing equipment. (Total seating is for six people.) According to Excalibur Army, the basic variant of the Patriot enjoys STANAG III ballistic protection, which is strong enough to withstand multiple impacts from general purpose machine guns. Anti-mine and explosive protection is optional at STANAG 2a or 2b. Other protective features are reinforced doors with bulletproof windows, including the swing door at the back.

Via Excalibur Army.

With a gross weight of 12 tons, customers are allowed to select either a Cummins or a Tatra diesel engine for their Patriot variant. Automatic transmission and runflat tires makes it easy on drivers who may need to travel over dangerous places. Its top speed reaches 110 kilometers per hour with less than half this mileage possible on open terrain. But what makes the Patriot a welcome addition to mechanized forces are its fighting capabilities.

If not a turret ring with a single machine gun, a remote controlled weapon station on the roof is a viable alternative. Excalibur Army offer RWS’ large enough to support a 14.5mm KPV heavy machine gun and it isn’t far-fetched if automatic cannon (20mm, 25mm, and 30mm) are soon made available for the Patriot. It’s possible to arm the Patriot with either anti-tank missiles or automatic grenade launchers. Excalibur Army are open to redesigning the Patriot as a mortar carrier in a pickup configuration. There’s a single square roof hatch for the passengers who choose to fight.

Via Excalibur Army.

With the armored car sector overflowing with modular bespoke trucks, the Patriot faces competition everywhere. Surprisingly, its closest rivals are vehicles from NATO allies. The Oshkosh JLTV, for example, enjoys the full backing of the US government as it seeks to strengthen friendly militaries with premium equipment. Another serious competitor is France’s bestselling Sherpa, whose reputation has ballooned these past several years. As if this weren’t impressive enough, the Sherpa is combat proven and has deployed to every imaginable climate. It doesn’t help if Germany’s KMW have an Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) is built for the exact same jobs as the Patriot.

Whether or not Excalibur Army’s well-groomed multirole truck is ever challenged by its sibling, the remarkably similar Gerlach from Slovakia, its prospects within and beyond Europe must be hard-earned and well-deserved. Militaries today are spoiled for choices and prefer trucks with the thickest armor and largest weapons. In other words, they want a winning combination on top of a reliable chassis.

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