South Africa’s Paramount Group has unveiled its next generation armoured personnel carrier – the all new Mbombe 4 – that is specially designed for local manufacturing within customer countries, in a move that will boost such countries’ defense capabilities, economic diversification and sustainable growth.
Drawing on the exceptional heritage of the Mbombe 8×8, now in production following its launch in 2016, and the Mbombe 6×6, which has entered service, the Mbombe 4×4 completes the highly advanced Mbombe family of combat vehicles that are designed to optimally meet the increasing demand for outstanding protection, yet versatility in conventional and asymmetric warfare, counter terrorism and peacekeeping missions.
The Mbombe family enables Paramount Group to provide customers with a comprehensive family of 4 x 4, 6 x 6 and 8 x 8 IFVs, which share over 70% of common components to reduce through life costs and ensures efficient training and logistics. This also presents a unique opportunity for the global market, affording a prospective end-user of all three vehicles significant savings in the areas of maintenance and logistical support.
The vehicle is being fully industrialised to allow for manufacture in customer countries using Paramount’s proven portable manufacturing model.
Paramount Group Founder and Executive Chairman, Ivor Ichikowitz stated: “Mbombe 4 was designed and developed specifically for local manufacturing in customer countries in response to specific market requirements. Paramount specializes in the creation of portable manufacturing facilities through technology and skills transfer, resulting in new local capabilities and sustainable jobs, proven to not only benefit local defense industrial capabilities but economic diversification and growth. Importantly, this model allows for common supply chains and ensures the security of supply.”
Displaying a striking new design, packed with the latest technologies and capabilities required for the modern battlefield and ever-evolving threats, the Mbombe 4 offers outstanding levels of protection, mobility and flexibility. The Mbombe 4 will be launched on the first day of IDEX 2019, the largest defense expo in the Middle East, held in Abu Dhabi.
One of the defining characteristics of the new Mbombe 4 is the unique, rear-door ramp design, which has been proven in combat on its 6×6 and 8×8 IFVs. The ease of access provided by the rear-door ensures the rapid deployment of the crew while the vehicle is static or on the move.
The platform offers very high levels of ballistic and mine protections (e.g. crew compartment STANAG 4569-Level 3, blast protection STANAG 4569-Level 4a & 4b) and protection against a 50kg TNT side blast or IED/roadside bomb. The applique armour packages can provide higher levels of ballistic protection (up to level 4) and mine protection as required by the customer.
Other key features of the Mbombe 4 include a burst speed of 140km/hr, ensuring exceptional levels of mobility, with the vehicle fully operational in winter conditions of -20 Celsius to desert conditions of +55 Celsius. The 16 tonnes Mbombe 4 provides a payload of nearly three tonnes, encapsulating weapon systems, ammunition, crew and supplies.
Ichikowitz added: “There are very few constants to the nature of the asymmetrical warfare that many of our customers across the globe are experiencing. As a result, Paramount is constantly innovating, not only to enhance, but to pioneer the most up-to-date defense technologies in the world.
Though each of the Mbombe family of vehicles is equipped for full mission capability and maximum versatility, they share a singular mission – the survival of personnel in the vehicle through the highest levels of protection, mobility and firepower, in order to meet the requirements of armed forces operating in the toughest environments around the globe”.
The Mbombe 4 has been designed to accommodate a wide range of payloads and turrets. The onboard mission computer and interface system is able to integrate with both Western and Eastern-made weapon systems. The vehicle is further fitted with the latest generation navigational, crew comfort and security systems, with examples including a driver-assist camera system, winterisation kit, vehicle location and tracking systems, a NATO standard tow-hitch, radios and intercoms systems and a Central Tyre Inflation System (CTIS).
The portable manufacturing of vehicles such as the Mbombe 4 has allowed Paramount Group to manufacture their defense technologies with partners around the world; from Kazakhstan and the dynamic growth of Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE) to their partnership with Singapore’s ST Engineering and the launch of the Belrex family of vehicles, based on the Marauder, a platform that is also being exhibited at IDEX.
“With the launch of the new Mbombe 4, Paramount is able to offer its customers across the globe one of the most complete land systems ranges in the world. Our customers and partner governments are now able to deploy the most advanced, latest-generation 4×4, 6×6 and 8×8 vehicles with a single common logistics train, highly-competitive acquisition cost and the lowest through-life cycle operating costs.
The new Mbombe 4 is designed for ‘Portable Production’ and highlights our commitment to supporting our customers in developing domestic defense industrial capabilities. This product also demonstrates our quest for continuous innovation and pushing the boundaries of vehicle design, crew protection, and interoperability. We are very excited by the Mbombe range of products and firmly believe that there is nothing in the world right now that can compete,” Ichikowitz concluded.