The Polish SKOT and Czechoslovakian OT-64 Wheeled APC Series

The Polish SKOT and Czechoslovakian OT-64 Wheeled APC Series

During the Cold War era, both Poland and Czechoslovakia (former) licence built various Russian Armoured Fighting Vehicles, such as the T-72 Main Battle Tank, BMP-1 Infantry Fighting Vehicle, MT-LB Armoured Personnel Carrier for their respective Armies.

However when it came to an 8×8 wheeled APC, rather than licence build the Russian BTR-60PB, both nations joined forces to develop their own 8×8 which offered the embarked troops greater armoured protection.

The first prototype was built in 1959. In 1961 the first sample series were built and starting from October 1963 the vehicles were produced in Lublin, Poland by Fabryka Samochodów Ciężarowych. Czechoslovakia supplied the driveline components, i.e. the engine, transmission and axles.

The first production vehicles were delivered in 1964 to both the Polish Army and Czechoslovak Army and many are still in use today.

Czechoslovakian OT-64 Wheeled APC Series Variants:

OT-64: This was the 1st APC version delivered to the Army. It was fitted with either 7.62mm or 12.7mm Machine Guns on the commanders pintle of which some had shields fitted across the MG to protect the commander from incoming fire as he manned it.

Some vehicles were also fitted with the turret of the OT-65A, which was the Czechoslovakian version of the Hungarian 4×4 FUG. The turret was mounted with twin Machine Guns.

DTP-64 (dilna technicke pomoci): This was the Armoured Recovery Vehicle for rescuing and repairing OT-64’s on the battlefield. Standard equipment was tow bars, welding equipment and a hand operated crane with a capacity of 1 tonne.

OT-64 ZDRAV or ZDR-64 (zdravotni): This was a Battlefield Ambulance for transporting walking and stretchered injured troops as well as field medics with their equipment.

OT-64A: This was the first major upgrade of the vehicle. It was fitted with a BPU-1 turret as used on the Russian 4×4 wheeled BRDM-2 reconnaissance vehicle. The turrets primary armament is a 14.5mm KPVT heavy Machine Gun and a coaxial 7.62mm MG.

The OT-64A has also been used for a series of Command & Control Vehicles (velitelsko štábní obrněný transportér) and fitted with multiple radio sets, a 1 kW generator and an antenna mast.

The Polish SKOT Wheeled APC Series Variants:

SKOT-1: This was the 1st APC version delivered to the Army and was  similar to the OT-64, but lacked any pintle mounted weapons.

SKOT-1A: This vehicle was a SKOT-1, fitted with a superstructure in the front of the troop compartment. The superstructure a large, two piece hatch.

SKOT R-3: This was a Regimental level Command & Control Vehicle. It is equipped with 4 radios, 1 radio receiver, 1 microwave radio relay and 1 radiotelephone. The vehicle is operated by seven man crew.

SKOT R-3M: Unarmed signals and command variant for combat engineer units.

SKOT R-3Z: SKOT R-3 with modernized radio equipment which it includes the second microwave radio relay.

SKOT R-4: This was a Division level Command & Control Vehicle. It is equipped with 4 radios, 3 radio receivers and 3 radiotelephones.

SKOT-WPT (wóz pogotowia technicznego): Technical support vehicle with a light crane.

SKOT S-260 Art (artyleryjski): Artillery tractor and transport vehicle for ammunition and mortar or anti-tank squads.

SKOT S-260 Inż (inżynieryjny): Fitted with racks for anti-tank mines and used to tow mechanical mine layers or mine-clearing systems.

SKOT-2: This was a SKOT-1A with a pintle mounted MG (either 12.7mm or 7.62mm) mount around the hatch of the superstructure.

SKOT-2 was used for a number of command vehicles such as the artillery and signal, as well as …

SKOT-2A: This was a SKOT-fitted with a BPU-1 turret as used on the Russian 4×4 wheeled BRDM-2 reconnaissance vehicle. The turrets primary armament is a 14.5mm KPVT heavy Machine Gun and a coaxial 7.62mm MG. Numbers of embarked troops was slashed from 18 to 10.

SKOT 2AM: This was the designation for SKOT-2A’s fitted with 9M14 Malyutka, aka AT-3 Sagger wire-guided ATGM launchers on the turret sides.

SKOT R-2: Command vehicle used by battalion and regiment command. It is equipped with 4 radios: R-112, R-113 and 2 R-105. The vehicle is operated by seven man crew.

SKOT-2AP: This vehicle was fitted with a WAT turret armed with a 14.5mm heavy MG for the short ranged Anti-Aircraft role. The turret uses a CGS-90 sight.

KTO (Kołowy Transporter Opancerzony) WR-02 “Ryś”: Heavily upgraded version with IVECO Cursor 8 engine. Work is performed by the 5th Military Mechanical Institute in Poznań.

KTO WR-02 “Ryś-2”: The export version of KTO WR-02 “Ryś”.

The Polish SKOT and Czechoslovakian OT-64 Wheeled APC Series Specifications

Weight 14.5 tonne’s
Length 7.44m
Width 2.55m
Height 2.71m
Crew 2 + 18 passengers / 2 + 10 passengers (OT-64A and SKOT-2A)
Armour 6-13mm
Main armament 7.62mm PKT Machine Gun or/and 14.5 mm KPV Machine Gun
Engine 180hp air-cooled Tatra T-928-14 V-8 diesel
Power/weight 12.4 hp/tonne
Suspension 8×8
Operational range 710 km
Top Road Speed 94 km/h

The Polish SKOT and Czechoslovakian OT-64 Wheeled APC Series Operators

A total number of vehicles produced for the Polish Army, the Czechoslovak Army and for export is 4500. Both Polish and Czech units are gradually being replaced by newer and more capable vehicles.

Algeria
Cambodia
Czech Republic
Hungary
Egypt
India
Iraq (former, all destroyed or scrapped during and following military conflicts)
Libya
Morocco
Poland
Sierra Leone
Slovakia
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Syria
Uganda
Uruguay

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