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Defense & Security 2022: Paramount partners with Thailand on Mbombe 4

D-Lion – a Thai version of the Mbombe 4 mine-resistant armoured fighting vehicle – was unveiled at the Defense & Security 2022 show in Bangkok. (Janes/Jon Grevatt)

South Africa's Paramount Group has formed a partnership with Thai firm Jatunapas and the government's Defence Technology Institute (DTI) to manufacture in Thailand the Mbombe 4 mine-resistant armoured fighting vehicle (AFV).

A prototype of the locally built vehicle, named D-Lion, was unveiled at the Defense & Security 2022 show in Bangkok on 29 August. A Jatunapas official told Janes that the DTI has been testing the vehicle with a view to positioning the D-Lion for a requirement within the Counter Terrorism Operations Center (CTOC), a Royal Thai Armed Forces special operations group.

The official added that CTOC is expected to commence user trials of the vehicle later in 2022. Should the vehicle win orders from CTOC, Jatunapas plans to build the vehicle at its local facilities using locally made components and subsystems.

The Jatunapas official said that potential supplies to the Royal Thai Army are also being explored. Exports to countries in Southeast Asia will also be targeted, he said.

If the D-Lion project is successful, Jatunapas plans to promote to Thailand and other regional countries Paramount's Mbombe 6 and Mbombe 8-wheeled AFVs.

The 16-tonne Mbombe 4 can be equipped with various weapon systems and loaded with ammunition, crew, and supplies. The vehicle has a payload capacity of 2.3 tonnes, an operating range of 800 km, and a burst speed of 140 km/h.

In October 2021 Paramount Group revealed that a new add-on armour package bolstered the armour protection of the vehicle to full NATO STANAG 4569 Level 3 for ballistic protection, with certification being provided by South Africa's Armscor.

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