Hilux joins the army!

Hilux joins the army!

By Milan Olsansky

In a fundamental change within the Czech army fleet, over the next four years, the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic will buy up to 1 200 new Toyota Hilux bakkies. The Toyotas will replace age-old UAZ and Land Rover vehicles. The price for each Hilux will be €33 359 (roughly R578 274).

The Hilux bakkies will be supplied over a three-year period – from 2021 to 2024.

“Modern vehicles are the basis of the army and it is a shame that our soldiers still use technology that is 40 years old. We chose from ten offers and the winners will guarantee us proven quality vehicles at a good price,” said Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar.

The army requires vehicles of category VN1-G (pick-up), which will be designed to transport five people with material on the road and in the field. “Soldiers already need a service, support and security vehicle,” said Chief of General Staff Aleš Opata. The bakkies need to be four-door 4×4 all-terrain vehicles with a total weight of up to three and a half tons, with a rigid support frame and the ability to transport cargo outside the crew compartment.

In the summer, the Ministry of Defence invited 12 companies to tender and received ten offers for four types of vehicles.

According to Ministry of Defence spokesman Jan Pejšek, the most economically advantageous offer was submitted by Glomex MS, which has been headed by former Chief of General Staff Josef Bečvář since 2019.

Toyota has been manufacturing “immortal” Hilux bakkies since the 1960s. It currently offers the eighth generation of the vehicle, which has become synonymous with durability (this reputation was bolstered by a number of unsuccessful attempts to destroy the bakkie by the presenters of the well-known British motor show Top Gear).

Nissan

This year Glomex also won a 600 million crowns (R398 million) contract for the supply of 500 modified Nissan Navara off-road bakkies to the Polish army.

However, Nissan is having problems due to the coronavirus crisis and had to close its factory in Barcelona, ​​where the bakkies were manufactured. Due to fears of delays in deliveries, the Polish Ministry of Defence decided to change the result of the tender and the Czech company is to supply Ford Rangers.

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