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The OT-65 is an Czech made amphibious scouts car. It is the Czech version of the Russian made BRDM-2. This particular vehicle is used as a radiological/ chemical reconnaicance vehicle. The OT-65 uses a crew of 4 persons with the driver and commander sitting in the front. Each has to his front a windscreen which is covered in combat by an armoured hatch. The crew enters the vehicle through 2 roof hatches. In case of an emergency there is a round escape hatch at the underside of the vehicle.

The engine is mounted in the rear of the vehicle with the transmission in the middle. Like the BRDM-2 the OT has two pairs of belly wheels in the hull, which are hydraulically lowered and raised (and driven) to improve crosscountry capability. You can just see a bit of the bellywheels above (in the raised position), the hatches for the windows open and the access on the top of the vehicle open. The circular object left of the headlight is the winch cable. The trimvane is in the lowered position.

Like most Warschau-Pact vehicles the OT is equiped which a central tyre pressure regulation system, also to improve terrain capabilities. A functional infra-red night vision system is also included.

On the armoured hatches for the driver and the commander: the glass windows have to be taken out before closing the armoured hatches. The top hatch (entrance) is open.

The vehicle is driven in the water by two waterjets. To enter the water only the erection of a trimvane in the front is needed. The steering of the vehcle in the water is done by pneumatic shutters which reverse the thrust of the waterjets and this system provides a good speed in the water (8-10 km/h) in combination with good control. To exit the water (or towing ) a external winch is provided. Two 75 litre diesel tanks give the vehicle a reasonable operational range.

You can clearly see the two shutters of the waterjets, which provide the steering in the water by reversing the thrust. The boxes with the pins on the top left and right side are testtube holders for the chemical detection equipment, these are rotated over 270 degrees (pins facing down) and from inside "fired" into the ground.

A look at the driver's and commanders position, right: At the left the controls of the trimvane, the shutters for the steering in the water and the tyre pressure system. In the middle the levers for the operation of the gearbox, 4wd, high and low gear, PTO, drive of the belly wheels and the waterjets. And at the right the commander position the radio system. The controls for the radiological (nuclear) and chemical detection equipment are in the back and not on this pic. The interior is quite spartan although a good independent heating system is installed, an aircon' system is not provided. Because of the weight and the big tires (12,00-18") the (off)road driving conditions are reasonable comfortable which is not a luxury when you have to control the wheel and a 5 speed manual gearbox! Even tall people like me (1.98 m) can find a reasonable good driving position!

- Michael Kusters' OT-65


Diagram of the drive system. Left: Frontaxle with steering Middle: Gearbox. Drive system for the 4 bellywheels. Drives for the waterjets. Right: In the middle the motor, the 2 propellors for the waterjets just visible.

- 4wd.sofcom.com/Mil/Mil.html

Technical Data:
  • length:5790mm, width :2500mm, heigth:1910mm
  • Motor :4 cylinder diesel, 5517 cc, 100 hp @ 2300 , 34,2 kpm @ 1500
  • Roadspeed:80 km/h, waterspeed:8-10 km/h
  • Crossterrain: gradient:60%, vertical obs.:0.4 m, trench:1.25 m
Email from Dancsecs Arpad [6/'01]:
The OT-65 [above] is a Hungarian vehicle called 'FUG'. It is used in the Czech Republic too, because it was exported there in the '60-s. [...] `FUG' is a recon' (this type is a chemical recon') - best regards

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