Consolidation in the South African defence industry has seen OTT Technologies, LMT Products and ADG Mobility come together to create the OTT Group that is now able to offer a significantly broader range of products.
OTT Technologies acquired LMT Products in July 2020 after it had been placed in business rescue following Denel’s loss of control of the company, and now ADG Mobility, a relatively new player in the armoured vehicle field, is also part of the OTT Group.
Stefan Booysen, CEO of OTT Technologies, is CEO of the OTT Group, while LMT Products CEO and CEO of ADG Mobility, Dr Stefan Nell, is also now OTT Group Managing Director. Retired Brigadier General Chris Gildenhuys, Manager: Business Development at OTT Technologies is also now Head of Business Development at the OTT Group. Together, they bring decades worth of experience together in the armoured vehicle industry.
The OTT Group will be present at the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition in Pretoria in September when it will launch new products and further showcase the Group to local and international customers.
“We will continue striving to provide our extended network of clientele, associates and partners with quality products and services as we value your cooperation, support and/or business,” Gildenhuys stated when announcing the establishment of the OTT Group last week.
Each company brings a significant number of designs and experience to the table, making the OTT Group one of the largest armoured vehicle manufacturers in South Africa.
LMT Products, a former 100% owned subsidiary of LMT Holdings, designed and manufactured a variety of protected vehicle products, ranging from protected cabs for Mercedes Benz vehicles to armoured personnel carriers. It exported large numbers of armoured vehicles, mainly to the Middle East, including the clean-sheet LM13 Multipurpose Combat Vehicle, designed to fit into a C-130 transport, and the LM8 Special Operations Vehicle based on a Ford chassis. LMT also developed the LM14 low cost armoured personnel carrier, a clean sheet design able to carry 10 people, and the LM13-derived LM16 high mobility armoured personnel carrier that can accommodate up to 11 people. As part of its relationship with the UAE’s International Armoured Group (IAG), LMT sold the JAWS APC as the LM5 in a couple of African countries. The company has also developed the Meerkat retractable weapons station for light armoured vehicles.
LMT Products used to be the trading company of LMT Holdings and went into voluntary business rescue in September 2019. Under the OTT Group, LMT will continue to specialise in the design and manufacture of armoured vehicles with protection against ballistic, landmine and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Its design capabilities provide for the integration of protection technologies into armoured vehicles with, amongst others, flat or semi-flat floor landmine protection.
LMT designed and qualified the flat floor landmine protection for the South African Army’s new Badger infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) being developed by Denel Land Systems.
OTT Technologies started out maintaining and upgrading military vehicles like the Ratel, Samil and Mamba, but moved into manufacturing its own Puma range, which has seen export success and has been proven in combat. There are two main versions of the Puma, the M26 and larger M36. OTT also developed the Hunter special forces vehicle on the basis of the Samil-20 light truck. OTT Technologies lists its new-build mine protected vehicle range as comprising the M26, M36 and LM13. Other products include the Bulldog M34 security vehicle, a manual turret, MAN truck bodies, security/cash in transit vehicles and remanufactured Casspirs, Ratels and Samils.
OTT, established in 1980, has supplied hundreds of specialised and mine protected vehicles to UN-sanctioned peacekeeping missions and other users, and has a long-term agreement to continue to doing so.
ADG Mobility was formed by former LMT employees some five years ago to focus only on vehicle development and in-country production for international clients, with specific expertise in landmine, ballistic and IED survivability, military off-road mobility, as well as the capability of testing and evaluating its own comprehensive automotive design, development, and prototype capabilities. One of its first projects was the development of the Wahash 8×8 armoured vehicle for the UAE’ Calidus.