September 11, 2013
Nexter introduced an all-new armored personnel carrier called Titus (Tactical Infantry Transport and Utility System) at the Defense & Security Equipment International show Sept. 11 in London.
Aimed at the export market, Titus is designed as a compact, agile vehicle using commercial off-the-shelf components to reduce acquisition and operating costs.
With an empty weight of 17 metric tons and a gross weight of 27 tons, Titus is basically designed to accommodate a 10-member squad, a commander and two vehicle operators. It has a steel V-hull (Nexter has previously used aluminum hulls, but steel is less costly) with large, lightweight cargo panniers attached underneath the V.
The front-engine drivetrain and suspension has been designed in collaboration with Tatra. The vehicle is a 6 x 6, but operates as a 6 x 4 on the highway, and both the front and rear wheels steer. This is necessary because the second set of wheels is placed mid-length, but it also reduces the turning circle to around 12 meters. (The benchmark, a Nexter executive jokes, was a London taxi.)
An important design criterion has been to keep overall width to 2.5 meters, a standard limit for European roads. This allows training and deployment without disrupting civil traffic. The suspension not only has variable height, with a square-wall ground clearance of 450 mm, but variable camber — the wheels can be angled outward to increase traction and stability on slopes.
Nexter says the design has emphasized human factors. The commander’s position is central, between the drivers and the squad. There is about 1 cubic meter of space per occupant and a wide rear ramp door allows for rapid boarding and egress. The design incorporates an internal tank for drinking water.
Development of Titus, initially known as XP3, started two years ago. A parallel demonstrator, XP2, used a monocoque hull made of advanced aluminum alloys and had a more complex 6 x 6 drivetrain. It was shown in Washington last year at the Association of the U.S. Army convention. But its advanced technology also resulted in a higher price tag.