Paramount unveils new Marauder vehicle

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The Paramount Group has unveiled its latest offering for the land security market, the Marauder Patrol, a lightweight armoured vehicle aimed at protecting the military or police from light and medium-calibre weapons.

The vehicles, shown in a military open-back and a closed police version during the launch at Air Force Base Waterkloof today, are aimed are replacing vehicles used by military organisations, police and security companies worldwide which have until now jury-rigged solutions like adding armour plate to Land Rovers or similar vehicles. Such modifications strain the engine and drive train and reduce speed.
“Increasingly in the markets that we’re engaged with, we’ve seen a demand for a lighter, protected mobility. There’s an increasing demand for a lighter patrol vehicle,” Paramount Group Director for Global Business Development, Miles Chambers, told defenceWeb.

Chambers said that such vehicles are needed in various situations, including rapid response peacekeeping operations, border patrol and for special forces requiring light, small and fast vehicles.

The Marauder Patrol vehicle is based on COTS (commercial off the shelf) driveline components. Maintenance and support are available through commercial dealer networks. Paramount said the vehicle has a deliberately non-aggressive appearance – making it perfect for police, peacekeepers or special forces operating in sensitive environments.

The Marauder Patrol is protected to STANAG Level 1 ballistic protection, meaning it can stop shell fragments as well as 7.62 mm and 5.56 mm bullets. For those customers wanting extra protection, there is the choice to increase ballistic to STANAG Level 2, without impacting the performance of the vehicle.

The vehicle comes in either a five-door ‘SUV’ version which can carry nine people or a four-door ‘double cab pick-up’ model which can carry a maximum of five people. In both cases, the vehicle is available with optional extras of run-flat tyre inserts, communications systems, add-on armour, various weapons stations and automatic transmission. Paramount said that crew comfort and ergonomics were key design elements and the vehicle is fully air-conditioned with plenty of space for tools, medical supplies and communications equipment.

Chambers told defenceWeb that Paramount Group had found that police were using up-armoured Land Cruisers or up-armoured SUVs from the commercial market, which was usually less than ideal, because this adds additional weight to the vehicle. “(The new Patrol model) provides the ability for police forces and military to have a lighter vehicle, all-round ballistic protection, including protection against M-26 hand grenades underneath and provides greater survivability than traditional (vehicles),” he said.

Paramount’s Chief Technology Officer, Len Mellet, pointed out that the Marauder Patrol was ideal for moving between a main base to a forward base in a peacekeeping scenario, which would be a waste of resources to use a heavy six-wheeled mine-protected vehicle. He stressed the fact that the Marauder Patrol was designed to take the heavier armour and armoured glass and this would not put pressure on the drive train, like it would on a converted SUV or other 4 x 4 vehicle.

He said the vehicle could withstand fire from handguns or rifles, as well as weapons with a larger calibre, up to 7.62mm, such as many versions of the AK-47. “If you find you looking for something more, there’s an add-on kit, for (STANAG) Level 2.”

The new Paramount Marauder Patrol is aimed at filling the gap between un-armoured 4 X 4 vehicles which would not be able to handle being under fire and the heavier six-or-eight-wheeled vehicles that are designed to withstand landmines, rocket fire and other battlefield hazards.
“Marauder Patrol breaks new ground in the utility vehicle market because it offers high levels of protection combined with unprecedented mobility and supportability. This makes it ideal for police and special operations forces conducting patrol-type operations, on or off-road,” Chambers said.
“As governments seek to cope with a range of new security challenges, it is vehicles such as this that give them the flexibility to respond to a variety of threats without having to rely on more expensive or aggressive looking large scale armoured vehicles. This vehicle proves that when it comes to armoured vehicles South Africa has the heritage and experience to make some of the most innovative solutions in the world.”

The Marauder Patrol has a kerb weight of 2 950 kg (for the four-door) and 3 450kg (for the five-door). It is powered by a 128 kW turbo diesel, giving a top speed of 120 km/h and a range of 800 km.