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Military Capabilities

Jagdkommando readies VT Hunter OTV for possible West African operations

17 June 2016
Pending a government decision, Austrian special forces could deploy with the 4x4 VT Hunter Open Tactical Vehicle in Mali. Source: Andrew White

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.

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