Austrian special forces could soon deploy with the latest tactical ground vehicle in its inventory to support their French counterparts in Mali, IHS Jane's has learnt. According to defence sources, a reconnaissance team is currently in Mali conducting a ground appreciation study ahead of a government decision to deploy a force element.
Sources explained to IHS Jane's how a task force comprising approximately 20 operators from the Jagdkommando could potentially be deployed with the air-transportable 4x4 VT Hunter Open Tactical Vehicles (OTVs), comprising a base chassis from Mitsubishi and upgraded by Austrian company Valentin Tusch GMBH Sonderfahrzeugbau (Special Vehicles).
Capable of carrying up to seven personnel, the VT Hunter OTV is powered by a 3.2-litre common rail turbo-diesel or 3.8-litre V6 petrol engine. The platform has a gross vehicle weight of two tonnes; a wheelbase of 2.78 m; and a payload capacity of up to 1,500 kg.
The OTV has a maximum fuel tank capacity of 88 litres although an optional 60-litre fuel tank can be added to extend its range.
The vehicle features a ring mount for a 12.7-mm heavy machine gun in either mechanical or electronic configuration, as well as multiple fixtures for 7.62-mm machine guns and assault rifles. Survivability can be improved with the integration of STANAG Level 1 protection with the exception of the roof area.
Other features are a heavy duty bumper; side rail footboards for canister assembly; four lockable ammunition and weapon boxes; anti-spall protection equipment; a sand tyre kit; roof-mounted cable cutter; blast attenuating seats; and two spare wheels.
For amphibious operations, two floatation devices can be deployed to provide buoyancy.
The vehicle is also equipped with a global positioning system and satellite communications suite with additional space for two radio antennas.
Two OTVs can be internally transported by medium-sized transport aircraft such as the C-130 as well as rotary wing platforms such as the CH-47 heavy lift helicopter.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options ihs.com/contact