Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defence has begun evaluation of the Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE) Barys 8×8 armoured vehicle, which is based on the Mbombe, and this includes winter testing ahead of acceptance into service.
The Kazakhstan Ministry of Industry on 22 February said the trials include day and night firing – Kazakhstan’s Barys vehicles are equipped with a Shipunov 2A42 30 mm automatic cannon and a 7.62mm machine gun manufactured by Kazakhstan’s ASELS in conjunction with the Turkish company Aselsan.
Paramount said the weapon system has been evaluated during both day and night firing sessions, static as well as firing on the move using the stabilisation mode. The 30 mm cannon, which has ranges beyond 2 000 meters, has been demonstrated successfully under severe ambient conditions
In November KPE began trials of the Barys (Snow Leopard) 8×8 and after these were completed the Barys was handed over to the Kazakh Ministry of Defense for military tests in extreme winter conditions.
Johan Delport, Director of the KPE factory in Astana said: “The most severe winter conditions prevailed during testing, similar to conditions found in Siberia. During this period the temperature dropped to -45 Celsius with a chill factor of minus 60 Celsius, resulting in serious challenges to man and machine while conquering up to 750mm of soft snow.
“During such conditions every smallest detail and subsystem could be evaluated extensively. Items such as glass heating for de-ice and de-misting, engine heating before starting, batteries, cabin heating, electrical functions, steering, and suspension have been successfully tested. The vehicle performed exceptionally throughout the trials.”
The Barys 8×8 vehicle was first unveiled during the 4th Kadex International Exhibition of military-technical equipment, which took place in 2016 in Astana. It is based on Paramount’s Mbombe 8×8 and produced under license by Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering.
The Mbombe family of 4×4, 6×6 and 8×8 vehicles 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.
The Mbombe 8 has a gross weight of 28 tonnes, kerb weight of 19 tonnes and payload of 9 tonnes which covers weapon system, ammunition, crew and supplies. It is powered by a 6 cylinder turbo charged diesel engine driving a six speed automatic transmission and giving a top speed of 110km/h. Range is 800 km. The cooling systems and driveline have been tested and proven in winter conditions of -55 Celsius and desert conditions of +55 Celsius.
Eight dismounts can be accommodated in addition to three crewmembers. Ballistic protection is to STANAG 4569 Level 3+ and blast protection is to STANAG 4569 Level 4a and 4b.
Apart from the Barys, KPE is also producing the Arlan (Marauder) in Kazakhstan. In November 2017 Paramount announced that it had delivered additional Arlan armoured vehicles to Kazakhstan’s Special Forces through KPE. Paramount said the latest delivery of the Arlan will see the vehicles in operation with the Ministry of Defence, Special Forces and other law enforcement agencies, but could not disclose the number of vehicles involved.
Paramount said the Arlans for the Kazakh Special Forces are equipped with various auxiliary equipment including specialised communications, roof mounted wire cutting blades, and a hydraulically actuated barricade breaker blade. Other features installed include night vision equipment, infrared cameras, laptop stations and GPS navigation.
Kazakhstan’s military in August 2016 announced it had introduced into service the first Arlans, fitted with 12.7 mm machinegun turrets.
KPE is a joint venture between Paramount Group and Kazakhstan Engineering Distribution. The establishment of armoured vehicle manufacturing in Kazakhstan follows Paramount’s technology transfer and local manufacturing model that has also seen it establish facilities in Jordan and Azerbaijan.
Ivor Ichikowitz, Founder and Executive Chairman of Paramount Group said: “Building our combat vehicles through local partnerships in Kazakhstan shows that we can produce highly advanced technologies anywhere in the world. One of the most significant trends in today’s defence industry is the increasing requirement of sovereign nations to develop their own defence equipment.
“Building defence industrial eco systems, inside our customer countries, through strategic alliances have been the cornerstone of our industrial philosophy. Our partnerships have driven innovation, technology transfer, local manufacturing, skills development and jobs around the world.”