The 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment (17e Régiment de Génie Parachutiste, 17e RGP,), based in Montauban, just north of Toulouse in south-western France, recently took delivery of a somewhat peculiar piece of equipment.
The TNA, the French acronym for an air-droppable tractor-leveller, is an extremely compact tracked vehicle that can be air-dropped with its drivers. Officially delivered to the only airborne engineer unit of the French Army in December 2015, the TNA will be joined by five others within 12 months.
Supplied by French company UNAC, based in Vergèze, the TNA was procured as an urgent requirement arising from France’s increased involvement on foreign theatres of operation. Deployed in Mali, the 17e RGP very quickly repaired landing strips to enable more troops and materiel to arrive in the central African country.
The result of a collaboration between the company, the 17e RGP and the technical section of the army, the TNA was developed in three years and integrates high-tech materials to lighten its mass and give it a very high resistance to tough landings. The chassis is made of a highly elastic steel while a high resistance aluminium alloy gives it its exceptional weight/resistance ratio.
The TNA’s cabin, developed by French company Sarrazin, is entirely removable in order to diminish the vehicle’s overall size. The TNA can undertake a broad range of missions from preparing and improving airport surfaces, to the opening and development of access routes via the creation of basic protections.
The TNA is a compact 6.5 tonne bulldozer that can be equipped with a backhoe on the front and a ripper on the back.
The chassis is made of high elasticity steel. The chassis composition is completely optimised. The high-resistance aluminium alloy is used to obtain very high weight/resistance ratios. The chassis holds the caterpillar tracks, engine, tanks and cab.
The cab is made mobile by cylinders, which also enables it to be placed in an ultra-compact transport and parachute position. The cab is ROPS/FOPS certified. It is equipped with removable armour that meets the STANAG 4569 level 2 standard, as well as anti-mine armour standards.
- Track drive transmission with one dedicated pump per track
- Above average weight/power ratio with a 100 cv CATERPILLAR engine for 6.5t
- Multi-purpose use with its multi-use blade (lifting, strip and overturning), ripper teeth and backhoe
- Mobility with speeds up to 11 km/h
- Its strategic transport capabilities on very short notice, due to its ability to be transported in various types of aeroplanes.
- Its ability to be air-dropped from C130s, C160s and A4000Ms
- Its ability to be transported on C130s, C160s and A4000Ms
- Its ability to be transported on NATO heavy helicopters such as the CH47 or CH53
- The cab that can be lowered to optimise its envelope when launched
- Integration of high-tech materials that optimise its weight and offer extreme resistance of up to 50 Gs of force on landing.
- Option of including a PR4G radio station
- Includes a NATO intervehicle socket
- Armour is removable to return to civil mode or for work in no-risk areas
- Armour can be assembled/dismantled in only an hour
- The carrier has an integrated armour storage compartment so that the machine can transport it independently.