Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE), a joint venture between Paramount Group and Kazakhstan Engineering, is making use of Allison automatic transmissions for its armoured vehicle range.
Allison said in a press release that KPE has chosen the Allison Transmission 3000 Series for its newest armoured vehicles. KPE currently produces or plans to produce the Arlan 4×4 AWV (armoured wheeled vehicle); the Nomad 4х4, and the Barys APC (armoured personnel carrier) in 6х6 and 8х8 versions. These are equipped with Cummins diesel engines and 6-speed Allison fully automatic transmissions.
According to Deputy Director General at Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering, Johan Delport, the development of the drivetrain began in 2006. The company’s engineers compared several transmission solutions offered by various manufacturers by testing them in real-life scenarios.
“When selecting the transmission to pair with the Cummins diesel engine, we focused on two basic factors. The first one is the simplicity and speed of integration, which impacts the production and maintenance speed. In this regard, the fully-automated Allison transmission was a very successful solution as it is quite popular and widespread, and it has shown good results in combination with this engine,” said Delport.
Transmission weight was another consideration. “You see, armoured vehicles are rather heavy themselves. So we had to use any opportunity to reduce the total weight of our vehicles. The Allison automatics have enabled us to achieve this goal as well. In general, we have had no serious problems with Allison transmissions during the many years of use on different types of vehicles and in various global operating conditions.”
Another important factor is that operating conditions in Kazakhstan are quite peculiar. The annual temperature range is about 100 °C, literally from +50 °C in summer to –50 °C in winter. This is the reason why the cooling system of the engine and the transmission and the power supply system have been significantly improved especially for Kazakhstan.
“Taking into account such tough temperature conditions and the terrain changing depending on the region – from southern mountains, central flats to northern hills – the transmission has to be exceptionally reliable and efficient,” Delport added. “Our experience of operating Allison automatics showed that they are perfect for such conditions. In particular, they have a second operating mode intended for mountainous areas, and you can switch between modes with a single button. Moreover, all transmissions used in our armoured vehicles are configured by Allison engineers for sandy terrain, which ensures improved off-road performance.”
However, one of the main advantages of fully-automatic Allison transmissions is the ease of operation in military vehicles: Allison automatics ensure an exceptional ease of handling, manoeuvrability and quick acceleration by smoothly multiplying engine torque and delivering more power to the wheels, Allison said. The driver can concentrate on the road without paying attention to gear change, which is highly important in combat conditions when every second counts.
“It is important that you can easily get used to new armoured vehicles due to Allison transmissions. Not only trained drivers, but any person with basic driving skills can do it,” Delport explained. Our employees drive AWVs: all of them easily manage it on the fly, without any problems.”