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8-Wheeled Amphibious Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)

Poland | 1964

"The OT-64 SKOT was a joint Cech-Polish Cold War-era development of a wheeled amphibious Armored Personnel Carrier."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/16/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
During the early part of the Cold War (1947-1991), Poland and Czechoslovakia had the choice to invest in the Soviet BTR-60 8x8 series wheeled Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) for the Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) role or go the indigenous route and produce a fighting machine more in line with local requirements. The latter was chosen and this became the joint-venture OT-64 SKOT ("Stredni Kolovy Obrneny Transporter"). Thousands were produced and exported to Soviet-aligned customers all over the globe and many are still in operational service today (2017).

The OT-64 was developed as a successor to the World War 2-era half-tracks influenced by the Nazi German SdKfz 251 series which remained in production in Czechoslovakia after the war (as the OT-810). Design work on the new vehicle was had in the late 1950s which yielded a working pilot vehicle in 1959. Pre-series vehicles then followed in 1961 with production-quality forms arriving in 1963 and service entry had in 1964. From 1963 until the early 1970s, some 4,500 of the type were completed and delivered. The Czech commitment saw their local industry provide the critical drive components of the new APC while final assembly took place in Lublin, Poland.

The OT-64 weighs 14.5 tons and has a length of 7.45 meters with a width of 2.55 meters and a height of 2.7. The operating crew numbers two and passenger seating is from ten to eighteen depending on production form. Armor (all-welded steel) protection reaches up to 13mm which is appropriate for small arms fire and artillery splinters. Primary armament is a single 14.5mm KPV heavy machine gun coupled with a 7.62mm PKT medium machine gun set in a turret that overlooks the hull. Drive power is from a Tatra T-928014 series V8 diesel-fueled engine of 177 horsepower allowing for road speeds of 95 kmh to be reached out to ranges of 710 kilometers.

The OT-64 has some design similarities to the BTR series of Soviet design. An 8x8 wheeled arrangement is used and the bow has a short, nearly horizontal glacis plate. The sides of the hull are angled for basic ballistics protection and the hull also features a in-built amphibious quality for traversing water sources (at 9 kmh by way of two propellers in the lower hull). Unlike the BTR-60, the OT-64 is powered by just a single diesel engine unit as opposed to a pair of gasoline-fueled systems which reduces complexity of maintenance and repair without reducing overall performance. The driver and commander take positions at the front of the vehicle with the powerpack immediately aft of them. The rear of the hull is made up of the passenger cabin which seats combat-equipped infantry. Firing ports are provided for personal weapons.

Standard equipment includes a powered winch, night vision and a full Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBS) suite.

The Polish Army has taken on many variants of the OT-64 which it designated SKOT-1. The line has been progressively modernized throughout the decades. Similarly the Czechs evolved the OT-64 to become many required battlefield forms including missile carriers, command vehicles and armored ambulances.

Global operators have ranged from Algeria and Angola to Uganda and Uruguay.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one land system design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the OT-64 SKOT 8-Wheeled Amphibious Armored Personnel Carrier (APC).
1 x Tatra T-928-14 V8 diesel-fueled liquid-cooled engine developing 177 horsepower driving conventional eight-wheeled arrangement.
Installed Power
59 mph
95 kph
Road Speed
441 miles
710 km
The physical qualities of the OT-64 SKOT 8-Wheeled Amphibious Armored Personnel Carrier (APC).
24.4 ft
7.45 meters
O/A Length
8.4 ft
2.55 meters
O/A Width
8.9 ft
2.7 meters
O/A Height
31,967 lb
14,500 kg | 16.0 tons
Armament & Ammunition
Available supported armament, ammunition, and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the OT-64 SKOT 8-Wheeled Amphibious Armored Personnel Carrier (APC).
1 x 14.5mm KPV Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) in turret.
1 x 7.62mm PKT co-axial machine gun in turret.
500 x 14.5mm ammunition (estimated).
1,200 x 7.62mm ammunition (estimated).
Nightvision - YES.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Protection (CBRN) - YES.
Notable series variants as part of the OT-64 SKOT family line.
OT-64 - Base Series Designation (Czech).
DTP-64 - Czech version with OT-65A vehicle turret.
OT-64 ZDRAV / ZDR-64 - Czech Army ambulance.
OT-64A - Czech improved variant; BRDM-2 turret fitted.
VSOT-64 - Czech Signals and Command vehicle (sans armament).
OT-64A ATGM - Czech Anti-Tank Guided Missile carrier vehicle.
OT-93 - Czech export model of OT-64A.
"Cobra" - Czech proposed Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) fitting 30mm autocannon in turret; not adopted.
SKOT-1 - Polish Army Designation
SKOT-1A - Polish Army version with revised upper hull.
SKOT R-3 - Polish command vehicle; sans armament.
SKOT-R-3M - Polish signals and command vehicle
SKOT R-3Z - Polish variant with modernized communications.
SKOT R-4 - Polish command vehicle; sans armament.
SKOT-WPT - Polish technical support vehicle.
SKOT S-260 ART - Polish Artillery Tractor.
SKOT S-260 INZ - Polish mine-layer / mine-clearance vehicle.
SKOT-2 - Polish model with revised machine gun arrangement.
SKOT-2A - Polish variant fitting BRDM-2 turret.
SKOT-2AM - Polish ATGM carrier vehicle.
SKOT R-2 - Polish command vehicle.
SKOT R-2AM - Polish command and fire control platform; sans armament.
SKOT R-2M - Polish signals and command vehicle
SKOT R-6 - Polish signals and command vehicle sans armament fit.
SKOT-2AP - Polish Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun (SPAAG) vehicle.
KTO WR-02 "Rys" - Polish Armored Personnel Carrier; Italian IVECO engine fitted.
KTO WR-02 "Rys-2" - Polish export Armored Personnel Carrier.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the OT-64 SKOT. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national land systems listing.

Total Production: 4,500 Units

Contractor(s): Fabryka Samochodow Ciezarowych - Poland / Czechoslovakia
National flag of Algeria National flag of Angola National flag of Czechia National flag of Egypt National flag of Hungary National flag of India National flag of Iraq National flag of Libya National flag of Morocco National flag of Pakistan National flag of Poland National flag of Serbia National flag of Slovakia National flag of Sri Lanka National flag of Sudan National flag of Syria National flag of Uganda National flag of Uruguay

[ Algeria; Angola; Cambodia; Czech Republic; Czechoslovakia; Hungary; Egypt; India; Iraq; Libya; Morocco; Nepal; Pakistan; Poland; Serbia; Sierra Leone; Slovakia; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Syria; Uganda; Uruguay ]
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Image of the OT-64 SKOT
Image from the Czech Ministry of Defense; Public Release.

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to battlefield requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The OT-64 SKOT 8-Wheeled Amphibious Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) appears in the following collections:
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