Guinea orders more Puma M36s

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OTT Technologies has received another order for Puma M36 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) from Guinea, which will use them with the United Nations mission in Mali.

Guinea recently ordered 25 new Puma M36 vehicles after operating previous batches for a number of years. The country received 32 Puma M26s in 2014 from OTT under a R78 million deal, followed by 32 Puma M36s in 2018, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s arms transfers database and South African National Conventional Arms Control Committee data.

These Pumas have been used with the UN mission in Mali (Minusma) for several years.

The Pumas join Guinea’s relatively small APC fleet, which includes over a dozen BTR-40s, a dozen BTR-50s, half a dozen BTR-60s, several BTR-152s and a handful of Tigr and Mamba vehicles as well as BRDM-1/2 and AML-90 reconnaissance vehicles.

Guinea has not acquired much new military hardware over the last decade, aside from a couple of WZ-551 APCs from China in 2010; five CSK-131 APCs from China in 2021, and a couple of second hand BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles in 2005. On the aviation side, it has acquired a single second hand SA 330 Puma helicopter from France, and two second hand CN235 transports.

The Puma M36 has proven itself on combat deployments to places like Mali and Somalia. The Puma range has been sold to Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Senegal and Burkina Faso.

The M36 is an evolutionary development of the proven M26 and weights between 11 and 14 tons depending on the level of protection. It is typically powered by a 220 hp (165 kW) diesel engine, giving a maximum road speed of 100 km/h and a range of around 800 km. Depending on customer requirements, the Puma M36 can also be offered with 275, 300, 360 and 450 hp Cummins engines with automatic transmissions.

Compared to its predecessor, the M36 features more space, higher protection levels and extra seating and has a payload of up to 3 000 kg. It can be fitted with up to two turrets.

OTT was established in 1980 as a supplier of surplus military equipment. It then began refurbishing military vehicles before moving on to manufacturing new vehicles. Its product lineup includes cash in transit vehicles (which have been exported to places like Nigeria), mine protected vehicles (notably the Puma series), light armoured vehicles and crowd control vehicles.

OTT has bought hundreds of surplus South African military vehicles and offers these for sale after refurbishment. The company has also modified some of these vehicles for different roles – for instance, the Hunter 4×4 patrol and reconnaissance vehicle is based on a Samil 20 driveline. The recent acquisition of LMT Products and the addition of ADG Mobility to the stable has further increased the OTT Group portfolio.

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.

Most recently, OTT Solutions, in partnership with ADG Mobility, and with the support of OTT Technologies, has developed the Ratel Service Life Extension Programme (SLEP) upgrade, which is being offered to the South African National Defence Force and international customers.