Paramount Group has started handing over the second tranche of 60 armoured vehicles for Azerbaijan, having previously delivered a first batch of 30 vehicles to that country’s armed forces.
In 2012 the Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence Industries (MDI) ordered 30 Marauder and 30 Matador mine protected vehicles, following the establishment of a joint production facility in the country and the production of an initial 15 Matador and 15 Marauders under a joint production agreement set up in 2009.
The Marauder is an IED and mine protected vehicle designed to operate in built-up and confined urban settings. It can carry of crew of ten and be configured as either a troop carrier or combat vehicle. In addition to its excellent blast protection Marauder is fitted with a double-skinned hull throughout the cabin and crew compartment to protect it against kinetic attack up to STANAG 4569 Level III.
Matador carries a crew of 14 and was conceived for long range military or peacekeeping operations with the ability to handle rugged and demanding terrains. It also has a top speed of 100 km/h and will protect its crew from 14 kg TNT detonated directly underneath the hull or 21 kg of TNT if detonated under any wheel, without rupture to the hull.
Meanwhile, Paramount is building a factory to produce armoured vehicles in Kazakhstan and this should be ready to start production towards the end of this year, according to Craig.
In December 2013 Kazakh Defence Minister Adilbek Dzhaksybekov announced the launch of the project in the capital Astana, which will see the production of 120 to 360 military and non-military vehicles a year.
According to the Kazakh ministry of defence, the project involves Paramount, Kazakhstan Engineering and Kazakhstan Engineering Distribution. The three companies signed an agreement in November 2013 over military vehicle production and maintenance.
Work at the facility will include hull fabrication, vehicle assembly and quality control. The facility could produce wheeled armoured fighting vehicles as well as commercial vehicles such as buses will be manufactured for both local and export markets.