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UAE operating GD-OTS Flyer vehicles

Two GD-OTS Flyer 72 vehicles during the ‘Union Fortress 8' show in Dubai. (AFP via Getty Images)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces displayed General Dynamics Flyer 72 light tactical vehicles for the first time during their annual ‘Union Fortress' public demonstration.

Held near Dubai's Expo 2020 venue, the dramatic show simulated a terrorist attack on a mall that required the intervention of a broad range of the Emirati military and security forces' capabilities.

The television coverage of the event showed four Flyers armed with .50 calibre machine guns were the first military ground units on the scene, forming a cordon around a building that was stormed by counter-terrorism forces.

CH-47 Chinook helicopters then landed to disembark Light Tactical All-Terrain Vehicles (LTATVs) made by the Italian company Aris and driven by soldiers wearing the badges of the elite Presidential Guard. LTATVs were first seen in the ‘Union Fortress 7' held in December 2020.

Used by US Special Operations Command as the M1288 Ground Mobility Vehicle, the Flyer 72 fits inside a CH-47, has a gross vehicle weight of 5,080 kg with a payload of 2,585 kg, and a ‘mission profile' cruising range of 483 km, according to General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS).

It can carry up to nine people, depending on the configuration. The ones seen in ‘Union Fortress 8' had an armour package that appeared to be the same one GD-OTS developed for a US Army light reconnaissance vehicle requirement, which reduces that number to six.

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