OTT showcases new products

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OTT Technologies recently unveiled three new vehicles for export, allowing it to offer potential customers a full range of vehicles for civil security, counter-insurgency, policing and military duties.

At the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition held at Air Force Base Waterkloof last month, OTT announced that it had completed development and testing of two new wheeled armoured vehicles, the Agrale Marrua M27 Light Armoured Patrol Vehicle (LAPV) and the Puma M36 Mk 5. The company also introduced the Elephant 5000 riot control unit for commercial trucks.

Hans Kriek, OTT’s Marketing Manager, told defenceWeb about the inception of the LAPV. He said that two years ago a requirement was identified in Brazil for a light armoured patrol vehicle for the police. “That’s where it started. Then we realised there were requirements from police for non-intimidating vehicles in other countries.”

The LAPV features an OTT M27 ballistic cab integrated on a Marrua AM200CD 4×4 vehicle, manufactured by Brazil’s Agrale SA. The Marrua series of vehicles are in service with the Brazilian Army and other Latin American users. Kriek said the advantage of using a commercial platform was that the operator could take it to a dealer for easy servicing, thereby reducing life-cycle costs.

The vehicle is not protected against mines, but has been designed to keep the occupants safe from side blasts, as most convoy attacks use explosives placed next to the road, rather than underneath it – this is an especially common tactic in places like Nigeria. “With our experience of conflicts, especially in Africa, we also realised that one of the biggest threats is roadside bombs,” Kriek said. As a result, the vehicle features things like special hinges to stop the doors being ripped off by side blasts.

For the Marrua M27, OTT designed and manufacture the M27 ballistic cab. Integration of the cab on the Marrua AM200CD is done either at OTT in South Africa or Agrale in Brazil. The LAPV is offered for use by the police, military, peacekeeping forces, security agencies and others as a patrol vehicle, liaison or commander’s vehicle, tactical command vehicle, escort vehicle or cash in transit vehicle.

The LAPV has a crew of four to five and a mass of 4 300 kg. As it has been designed for police use, it can be fitted with surveillance equipment, such as a pole-mounted camera (such a configuration was demonstrated at AAD 2012). A camera editing station mounted in the cab can then transmit the surveillance data to another station.

Kriek said there had been quite a lot of interest in the LAPV at AAD 2012. He added that OTT hoped to sell hundreds of the type and the main market for the vehicle was in Latin America and West Africa, while a secondary market could be the Middle East.

OTT has sold its Puma M26-15 4×4 mine-protected vehicle to at least two countries, including Kenya, which has used it operationally in Somalia. This has been developed into the Puma M36 Mk 5 mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle. It features Ashok Leyland Stallion 4×4 automotive components for economical after sales support. “Our total life cycle costs should be competitive with other products,” Kriek said.

The all-welded V-shaped steel hull has varied protection levels, with the maximum being to STANAG 4569 Level 3 (excluding 7.62 x 51 mm armour-piercing rounds) and mine protection is greater than STANAG 4569b Level 4. A machine gun pintle mount or remotely operated turret can be fitted on the roof.

The vehicle carries up to 12 people including the driver. The Puma M36 can be used for a variety of roles, including as an armoured personnel carrier, command and control vehicle or ambulance. The interior can be reconfigured with modules like additional radio racks, command and control equipment, etc.

The Puma M36 weights between 11 and 12 tons depending on the level of protection and has a payload of 3 000 kg. It is powered by a 220 hp (165 kW) Ashok Leyland HA 57L 165 diesel engine, giving a maximum road speed of 100 km/h and a range of around 800 km.

Another OTT product that debuted at AAD 2012 was the Elephant 5000 Riot Control Unit (RCU). This modular system can be integrated onto any commercial 13.5 ton or larger 4×2 or 4×4 truck. Kriek said it was developed by OTT in response to a requirement for a cost effective riot control unit. He noted that there were not many suppliers of such specialist vehicles, making them expensive. “We decided to develop a modular riot control unit which can be fitted to any 12 to 14 ton commercial trucks.” The unit displayed at AAD 2012 was mounted on a Hino 4×2 vehicle. OTT hopes to sell hundreds of the RCUs.

The unit consists of a lightly armoured container housing a water cannon. The Elephant 5000 unit weights 3 500 kg, but filled with 5 000 litres of water weighs 8 500 kg. Using a Volkswagen engine, the water cannon can spray water at a rate of 1 800 litres per minute at 8 bar pressure, giving a range of 40-50 metres. The water cannon is operated from inside the cab with a joystick. An add-on system can mix tear gas and/or dye with the water.

Other features of the Elephant 5000 RCU are all-round fire protection, a ventilation system for the cab, steel grid protection for glass surfaces, pepper spray nozzles, floodlights, a barricade remover on the front bumper, police lights on the roof, a public address system and a siren.

OTT designs, develops and manufactures mine protected and cash in in transit vehicles. It also refurbishes Samil trucks, Ratel IFVs, Casspir MPVs, Mamba MPVs and other vehicles. Some of its products include the Protector M21 Modular Armoured Vehicle, Protector M22 Light Modular Armoured Vehicle, Puma M26 Mine Protected Vehicle, Puma M36 Mine Protected Vehicle and the M40 Land Cruiser 79 Light Protected Vehicle.



Pic: Puma M36 Mk 5