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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

21 May 2015

SOFIC 2015: A vehicle to blend in and be protected

SOF sometimes want to blend in the normal street picture, but at the same time want to be protected and have the high mobility of military 4x4 and not an SUV. At SOFIC Navistar is presenting a solution, so commanders don’t have to choose between blend-ability and high performance. Navistar Defense is showcasing its Special Operations Tactical Vehicle (SOTV). Navistar’s SOTV-B (Blended) variant is on display in booth 2040. It is a low-profile, purpose-built armored vehicle designed for counter-insurgency operations. “While it may look like a typical small truck seen throughout the Middle East and around the world, it’s anything but,” said Kevin Thomas, president, Navistar Defense. “The SOTV is a purpose-built vehicle designed specifically to provide the highest levels of protection and performance, while ‘hiding in plain view.” It can be everything you want, at display is a vehicle that looks like a Toyota HILUX, but it also could like a Ford or Mercedes-Benz 4x4 or any other kind of product. The “inside” is always the same, with a protected cell and high performance, but the outside is just a lightweight – non-protected – facelift from fiberglass. This outside can be quickly changed, if you need another colour, or another vehicle type.
Everything in the SOTV—from the powerful engine, to the dynamic suspension and drive train, to the armor system, to the modular electronics capability—is designed for the highest level of mission performance and protection. As a purpose-built vehicle with a robust design and components, it provides a significantly longer life cycle than an up-armored light truck. And it is a little bigger inside, to give the fully loaded operators more space – but you won’t see the difference from the outside.
The SOTV-B shares significant commonality with the SOTV-A, which is Navistar Defense’s tactical variant for covert operations. Highly modular, the SOTV can be configured with a variety of weapons and C4ISR packages for a wide range of missions. On the flat back you could even place a mortar system – well you won’t blend in anymore, but the payload is 4,000 lbs.
“The SOTV-B vehicle provides significantly greater protection and performance than traditional up-armored commercial light trucks,” Thomas added. “It can be skinned to look like any truck of choice—flexible, but designed from the inside out for special operations.” And they are built for a long life cycle of up to 20 years, normal protected 4x4 often are done after eight to twelve month. They just don’t like the extra weight that the armor brings on. The US SOF already have bought some of these vehicles, for evaluation and testing, Navistar is still in a phase of proofing this “different” concept with USSOCOM.
Technical details: 0-60 mph in under 13 seconds, fits in a CH-47 CHINOOK, 4,000 lbs of payload at the flat back, 60° longitudinal side slope, 24’’ fording depth, up to 600 LB-FT of torque and armored.

Andre Forkert

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