Paramount Group, the African-based global defence and aerospace company, today, unveiled a new generation 8×8 Infantry Combat Vehicle, representing the pinnacle of land system technologies which is designed to meet the world-wide demand for sophisticated, but affordable military equipment that provides unrivalled protection for land forces personnel, in an era of unprecedented asymmetrical threats and conflict.
The Mbombe 8 also known as«Barys»is at the vanguard of armoured vehicle technologies and has been developed to meet the increasing demand for multi-role, high mobility and mine hardened platforms, and for the changing demands of the global battlefield. Paramount Innovation and Design (a Paramount Group Business) has been responsible for the development and production of a broad range of advanced armoured and mine protected vehicles that are in operation around the world.
The Founder and Executive Chairman of Paramount Group, Ivor Ichikowitz said: “This is a momentous occasion in the evolution of Paramount’s Group’s offering and we are very excited to develop this high speed, long-range and low profile 8×8 armoured combat vehicle. In less than a decade Paramount has designed, developed and industrialised an armoured vehicle nearly every two years, from a clean sheet design. Without exception we have built a reputation for pushing the boundaries and creating armoured vehicles that are groundbreaking in their design, protection levels and mobility.
Ben Jansen, CEO of Paramount’s armoured vehicle business said: “The development of Mbombe 8 has enabled Paramount Group to provide potential customers with a complete family of 4 x 4, 6 x 6 and 8 x 8 AFVs which share over 80% of common components to reduce through life costs and make for easier training and logistics. This commonality relates to both the driveline aggregates, as well as the fact that all three vehicles utilise a ‘conventional’ or ‘in-line’ automotive driveline configuration, positioning the powerpack at the front of the vehicle and along its centre line. This configuration results in far greater efficiency in terms of the transfer of power from the powerpack to the wheels, as the loss of power associated with a second transfer gearbox necessary for ‘unconventional’ drivelines, such as with side-engined vehicles, is eliminated.”
Ichikowitz added: “The Mbombe 8 is world-leading in its class, this is a product that we are very proud of. We pioneered mine-resistant flat floor technology which is central to the design of the new 8×8 platform. Another important feature is the driveline commonality across our family of vehicles, as is the case with the Marauder XT (4×4), Mbombe 6 (6×6) and Mbombe 8. This presents a unique opportunity for the global market, affording a prospective end-user of all three vehicles significant savings in the areas of maintenance and logistical support.”
The Mbombe 8 is based on the design of Paramount’s Mbombe 6 that employs an innovative new form of construction to give unprecedented levels of protection, while keeping profile to a minimum. The 8×8 also draws on the company’s experience of designing the highly effective and battle-tested Marauder and Matador mine-resistant vehicles.
Key features of the Mbombe 8 include:
- Gross weight of 28 tonnes and kerb weight of 19 tonnes
- Payload of 9 tonnes which covers weapon system, ammunition, crew and supplies
- Powered by a 6 cylinder engine turbo charged diesel engine
- Six speed automatic transmission
- Max speed of 110km/h
- Operating range: 800 km
- High levels of ballistic and mine protection: ballistic protection: STANAG 4569 Level 3+ and blast protection: STANAG 4569 Level 4a and 4b
- Wide range of turrets and weapon stations can be integrated e.g. the AU-220M remote turret armed with 57mm cannon and a 7.62 mm machine gun
- The cooling systems and driveline have been tested and proven in winter conditions of -55 Celsius and desert conditions of +55 Celsius
- Large internal volume due to position of powerpack
The unveiling of Mbombe 8 follows the recent announcement in May that Paramount has started local production of its 6×6 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (Mbombe 6) in Jordan as part of a defence industrial partnership between Paramount Group and the Jordanian defence industry. The multi-million dollar contract will provide the Jordanian Armed Forces with IFVs which will provide the platform for Jordan’s future combat vehicle requirements.
Ichikowitz concluded: “South Africa has been leading the world in armoured vehicle and land mine protected technologies for decades. We have an amazing skills base, we are home to some of the best engineers in the world and they have developed technologies that are used globally and save lives every day.”