Matador and Marauder vehicles in service with Azerbaijan have been battle proven in the conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The September/October edition of Azeri Defence magazine reported that the vehicles demonstrated good performance during the five-day war between Azerbaijan and Armenia in April 2016, in an explosion at an ammunition depot in Gilazi, Azerbaijan, in 2017, as well as during Azeri military operations launched on 27 September 2020 as part of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The magazine cites several examples of the vehicles performing well under recent combat conditions, including a video showing a Marauder detonating two anti-tank mines under the wheels of the vehicle. Despite the large explosion, the personnel escaped unharmed.
“This and other footage taken from the frontlines of the conflict have proven that on the battlefield, the Marauder and Matador vehicles provided high levels of protection for their personnel against land mines, enemy fire, shrapnel from exploding artillery and mortar shells.”
The magazine reported that the performance of both armoured vehicles is highly valued by the Azerbaijani military. The positive experience in combat and the vehicle’s superior characteristics compared to other armoured vehicles will allow for the continuation of serial production of both vehicles in future.
According to analysis from Oryx Spioenkop, at least four Marauders and four Matadors have been damaged or abandoned during the conflict but none destroyed.
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.
Since 2011, both armoured vehicles produced in Azerbaijan have undergone some modifications as compared to the base version.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s arms transfers database, Azerbaijan has taken into service 85 Marauders and 60 Matadors since 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. The 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.
The 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 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.
Apart from local production in Azerbaijan, Paramount has also established local armoured vehicle production facilities in Kazakhstan, with the creation of Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE).