Paramount and Jatunapas lead the 4×4 combat vehicle charge in Thailand

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Paramount’s partnership with Thailand to produce the Mbombe 4 armoured vehicle in the Southeast Asian country is seeing tangible progress, with trials of the domestically built D-Lion carried out by the Thai Armed Forces.

At a Defence and Security 2022 exhibition ceremony in August last year, the domestically assembled D-Lion was officially handed over to the Royal Thai Armed Forces. Since then, the infantry combat vehicle (ICV) has undergone a series of vehicle and live-fire trials by the Thai Armed Forces and Thailand’s Defence Technology Institute (DTI).

Paramount partnered with the DTI, Thailand’s defence research and development (R&D) agency, and Jatunapas, one of Thailand’s leading defence and security companies, on the D-Lion project. Highlighting the close cooperation between these partners, Paramount is currently attending the Defence and Security 2023 exhibition in Bangkok from 6-9 November, where it is supporting Jatunapas.

Steve Griessel, Paramount’s Group Chief Executive Officer, said the project was a testament to the company’s belief in the capabilities of Jatunapas and its commitment to technology and skills transfer, fostering local production, and contributing to the creation of jobs.

“The impressive work undertaken by Jatunapas clearly reflects their commitment to advancing Thailand’s defence capabilities,” Griessel stated. “Jatunapas is known for their outstanding defence and security solutions. This partnership promises to set new benchmarks in defence innovation, and we are honoured to be part of this journey.”

The Mbombe family (4×4 Mbombe 4, 6×6 Mbombe 6, and 8×8 Mbombe 8) features a flat mine-protected floor, giving a lower and better stability than V-shaped armoured hulls, which were pioneered by South Africa. All three models share 80% common components to reduce through life costs and make training and logistics easier. A six-cylinder diesel gives a top speed of more than 110 km/h – the Mbombe 4 has a burst speed of some 140 km/h, making it one of the fastest armoured vehicles in the world.

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).

Since its launch in 2019, the Mbombe 4 has been ordered by six nations, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, United Arab Emirates, Togo, and India – Bharat Forge manufactures the Kalyani M4 domestic version for the Indian Army.

“The Mbombe 4’s continued expansion into the Asia-Pacific marketplace and beyond emphasises the success of the Paramount-pioneered portable manufacturing model,” the company said in a press release.