Since its launch in 2019, Paramount’s Mbombe 4 infantry combat vehicle (ICV) has accumulated orders from the armed forces of five countries, amounting to more than 150 vehicles.
Paramount Group said that the Mbombe 4 is presently in production in Africa and Asia, with more than 150 vehicles either being manufactured or on order for global delivery or deployment.
First unveiled at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) 2019 in Abu Dhabi, the Mbombe 4 was initially acquired by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which bought an initial four. In early 2021 it was revealed that the vehicle would be built in India as the Kalyani M4 by Bharat Forge Limited, part of the Kalyani Group. A ‘large number’ are being manufactured for India’s Ministry of Defence.
Paramount has revealed the Mbombe 4 S desert variant, which was developed in response to customer feedback and trials in India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Modifications include changes to the air conditioning system, fuel system, and front bumper with the addition of a winch, as well as changes to the rear door to allow for a spare tire to be carried, and interior changes to include additional storage space and improved access. A rear door ramp or side doors can also be fitted based on user preferences.
“The Mbombe 4 and its evolutionary capabilities reflect world-beating innovation, affordability and importantly, homegrown production opportunity, which has enabled our manufacturing expertise to be replicated on a global scale,” stated Paramount Group CEO Steve Griessel.
“Having implemented our local production model in several locations around the world, we are in a unique position to offer industry partners and governments the capability to set up local manufacturing facilities, transfer skills and technologies, and start production of vehicles in less than a year. The Mbombe 4, like all our other technology platforms, has been designed from the outset for production within customer countries. This is a key requirement from governments looking to strengthen their indigenous defence industrial capabilities,” he stated.
“Paramount Group believes in global partnerships. The Mbombe 4 has offered our partners and customers in-country, production of best-in-class technologies with the prospect of localised high-skills training and job creation, fundamental to enhancing any nation’s modern defence capabilities, now and in future,” Griessel concluded.
Key features of Mbombe 4 include flat-floor mine protection technologies and a distinct, rear-door ramp design. The vehicle has a burst speed of 140 km/h and a range of 800 km. Paramount said positioning the powerpack at the front of the vehicle and along its centre line results in greater efficiency in the transfer of power from the powerpack to the wheels. The in-line configuration has additional benefits, such as ease of maintenance and low noise in the crew compartments.
The platform offers crew compartment NATO STANAG 4569 Level 3 ballistic protection and blast protection to STANAG 4569 Level 4A and 4B and protection against a 50kg TNT side blast or IED/roadside bomb.
The 16 tonnes Mbombe 4 provides a payload of nearly three tonnes, encapsulating weapon systems, ammunition, crew (of seven) and supplies. The vehicle has been designed to accommodate a wide range of payloads and turrets, including a 30 mm cannon. The onboard mission computer and interface system is able to integrate with both Western and Eastern-made weapon systems. The vehicle is further fitted with the latest generation navigational, crew comfort and security systems, with examples including a driver-assist camera system, winterisation kit, vehicle location and tracking systems, a NATO standard tow-hitch, radios and intercoms systems and a Central Tyre Inflation System (CTIS).
The Mbombe 4 draws on the heritage of the eight-wheeled Mbombe 8, launched in 2016, and the six-wheeled Mbombe 6, which is in service. Commonality of components (roughly 70%) across the entire Mbombe family of armoured vehicles lessens the costs associated with support, repairs and training, Paramount maintains.