Being shown for the first time at Africa Aerospace & Defence is the latest Paramount Mbombe 8 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). Its very first outing in the IFV configuration was at the Kazakhstan Expo in June this year under the local name of Barys 8.
The Mbombe 8 is at the vanguard of armoured vehicle technologies and has been developed to meet the increasing demand for multi-role, high mobility and mine hardened platforms, and for t he changing demands of the global battlefield.
When compared with earlier members of the Mbombe family of wheeled armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs), the Mbombe 8 IFV has more volume and payload. This enables it to undertake a much wider range of battlefield missions, as well as to be fitted with heavier weapon systems.
At AAD, Mbombe 8 is being shown fitted with a remote-controlled weapon station armed with a 30mm cannon and a 7.62mm machine gun (MG), plus banks of grenade launchers.
Mbombe 8 has a gross vehicle weight of 28 tonnes and a kerb weight of 19 tonnes, which allows for a payload of 9 tonnes including the weapon system, ammunition, fuel and crew. Its powerpack consists of a six-cylinder turbocharged diesel coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission that gives a maximum road speed of 110km/h when fitted with 16.00R20 tyres, with a maximum cruising range of 800km.
According to Paramount, the standard ballistic protected level of the Mbombe is STANAG 4569 Level 3+, while mine blast protection is to Level 4a and 4b, but there is an option to provide additional armour for higher levels of protection.
Development of the Mbombe 8 has enabled Paramount to offer potential customers a complete family of wheeled AFVs in 4x4, 6x6 and 8x8 configurations that share some 80 per cent of common components to reduce through-life costs, as well as easing training.
Ivor Ichikowitz, founder and executive chairman of the Paramount Group, said: “This is a momentous occasion not only for the Paramount Group, but also for South Africa, which pioneered the ICV. 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.” The first advanced prototype of the Mbombe 8 will soon start extensive mobility trials and production could be undertaken in South Africa or Kazakhstan.
Also being shown at AAD is the Mbombe 6 that is currently in production for the Jordanian Armed Forces who have ordered 50 vehicles. The first production Mbombe 6 vehicles have come from South Africa followed by progressive local assembly in Jordan at the facilities of the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KAADB).