Welcome to the OT-90

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Introduction to the OT-90

Czech Roundel
"Lujpje" - my OT-90 built as a BMP-1 in the lat sixties and converted to OT-90 in 1978

OT-90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle

This section of my web site is devoted to a description of the Czechoslovakian OT-90 - OT standing for "Obreney Transporter" or - literally Armoured Transporter. This is a derivative of the original Soviet designed BMP-1 ("Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty" - Russian for Fighting Vehicle of Infantry) albeit with added refinements. The OT-90 came about as a product of one of the series of Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties (SALT) which called for a reduction in the types of armoured vehicle used by each side in the Cold War. Rather than scrap perfectly serviceable vehicles the Czechs with their usual engineering savvy opted to convert them into something else. In this case as the SALT treaty required the reduction in numbers of anti-tank weapons the Czech engineers simply removed the large turret from the BMP-1's which contained the 73mm smooth-bore cannon and replaced it with the turret from the out-dated SKOT-64 thus moving the vehicle from one class to another. At the same time minor changes were made to remedy issues that had arisen in service, The picture above is of my own OT-90, known as "Lujpje" which wa built as a BMP-1 under license in the Czech Republic in the lat 1960's and thenconverted to an OT-90 in 1978 ("JPJ" is the shortened form of Lusk Jeden P ět Jeden - or Hull No. 151 in the Cech language).

What is an IFV

Although at first appearance one could be forgiven for thinking this class of vehicle was nothing more than another APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier) a closer examination will reveal the fundamental differences. These are covered in detail in the "External Details " page of this section of my web site. For this page a brief explanation will suffice. The primary difference between an IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) is that the troops carried within the vehicle are able to fight from within the vehicle without the need to dismount first. Whereas with an APC the troop need to exit the vehicle in order to be able to engage the enemy thus rendering them vulnerable to all the hazards of a battlefield. Literally no more than battlefield taxis with early ones having no roof so leaving the troops insode exposed to shrapnel from overhead shell bursts. Once in position on thebattlefield a further problem is that if the vehicle is engaged by small arms fire - or worse - then the troops are unable to dismount and are therefore ineffective.

The IFV marked a revolution in AFV (Armoured Fighting Vehicle) design when it appeared in the middle of the 1960's. The West at the time had nothing like it and it's appearance sent shock-waves through the Defense Chiefs at the time. The BMP series were amphibious thus negating the need for fixed river crossings and had full NBC protection for the occupants as well as full armour protection all round. The only weak spot on the vehicle - at that time - were the rear doors which, as an aid to bouyancy were hollow and used to store additional fuel - approx 180 litres in each door, this in addition to the 480 litres in the main internal fuel tank. This conferred an operational range of over 600 Km which coupled with speeds of 40 mph (road, 30 mph (off-road and 5 mph (water) led to a very versatile machine. The ground pressure exerted by the tracks is approx 0.6 Kg/Cm2 - about the same as the average human male meant it could get to places other tracked or wheeled vehicle could not. This low ground pressure manifests itself off-road when turning as the vehicle will skid/powerslide on loose surfaces such as mud or dust.

Technical Specifications The physical dimensions and weights of this vehicle:

Length 7130 mm
Width 2940 mm
Height 2105 mm
Weight - Empty 12,500 Kg
Weight - Combat 13.500 Kg
Max Speed - Road 65 KPH (40 MPH)
Max Speed - Off Road 45 KPH (28 MPH)
Max Speed - Water 12 KPH (8 MPH)
Crew 3 - Driver/Gunner/Commander
Fighting Compartment 8 Fully armed troops
Engine UDT-20
Engine Size 19,000 cc
Engine layout V6 Quad Valve
Engine BHP 300 BHP
Fuel Type Diesel
Tank Capacity 450 litres (Main) + 2 x 180 Litres (Aux)

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Performance Specifications The abilities of this type of vehicle:

Range - On Road 600 KM
Range - Off Road 500 KM
Trench Clearance 2200 mm
Max. Ascent Angle 50 Degrees
Side Slope 33 Degrees
Vertical Obstacle 800 mm
Ground Clearance 420 mm
Ground Pressure 0.6 Kg/Cm2
Fording Depth Amphibious
Main Armament 14.5mm KVPT Machine Gun
Co-Axial Armament 7.62mm PKT Machine Gun
Auxilliary Armament 2 x RPG in internal racks
Troop Armament -1st Poition 2 x RPK Machine Gun
Troop Armament - Remaiinder 6 x Vz-58 Assault Rifles
Smoke Discharger Oil in exhaust
NBC Protection Air Filtration & over pressure

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