Paramount Group has for the first time showcased its Mbombe 8×8 infantry combat vehicle in South Africa, exhibiting the vehicle at the Africa Aerospace and Defence show.
Paramount for the first time in South Africa exhibited the expanded Mbombe range, which comprises the 4×4 Mbombe 4 (or Marauder XT in certain markets), the 6×6 Mbombe 6 and the 8×8 Mbombe 8. The Mbombe family shares an 80% parts commonality, giving cost benefits to armed forces due to greater efficiencies and significant savings in maintenance and logistical support.
Unveiled in Africa for the first time, the Mbombe 8 is the newest and ‘big brother’ of the Mbombe family, Paramount said. The vehicle was first shown at the Kazakhstan Defence Expo in June under the name Barys 8 – it is being manufactured in that country by the Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering joint venture.
Ben Jansen, CEO of Paramount Combat Systems 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 ICVs 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. This presents a unique opportunity for our global market, affording a prospective end-user of all three vehicles significant savings in the areas of maintenance and logistical support.”
Paramount Combat Systems (the newly formed integrated business comprising Paramount Land Systems and Paramount Innovation and Design) has developed and produced a broad range of armoured and mine protected vehicles that are in use from South America to Central Asia.
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.
A wide range of turrets and weapon stations can be integrated onto the vehicle. At AAD the vehicle was fitted with a dual feed 30 mm cannon and 7.62 mm machinegun turret as well as banks of grenade launchers. The turret was developed locally by Comenius. The Barys 8 has been fitted with a Russian AU-220M remote turret armed with 57 mm cannon and a 7.62 mm machine gun.
The Founder and Executive Chairman of Paramount Group, Ivor Ichikowitz said: “This is a momentous occasion not only for Paramount Group, but also for South Africa, which pioneered landmine protected technologies. In six years we have designed, developed and manufactured three high speed, long-range and low profile armoured combat vehicles, the Mbombe 4, 6 and 8. Without exception, we’ve earned an international reputation for pushing the boundaries and creating armoured vehicles that are groundbreaking in their design, protection levels and mobility.”
“Paramount Group’s success is ultimately the success of African innovation. South Africa has been leading the world in armoured vehicle and land mine protected technologies for decades and we’re proud to take this heritage into the future,” Ichikowitz said.