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By Julian Nettlefold

20 Sep 10. Paramount Group briefed BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold about their new range of vehicles, particularly Mbome, shown at Africa’s largest defence exhibition, Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD) in Cape Town, South Africa.

Being revealed for the first time at AAD is the Mbombe – Paramount Group’s revolutionary new armoured vehicle design. It is the first clean-sheet design for protection against both IEDs and mines (Mbombe defeats 50kg of TNT at 5 meters) and is destined to become a world-leader in its class.

Mbombe is a high mobility six-wheeled infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) with a mine-resistant honeycomb flat hull (rather than the traditional v-shape). This gives it a lower profile than typical MRAP vehicles, a solution which has been sought for many years.

Easily adapted to a wide variety of operational roles, Mbombe offers STANAG Level 4 ballistic, mine and artillery protection as standard – the first vehicle of its type to achieve this – with a design that has harnessed smart technology to reduce height.

Ivor Ichikowitz, Executive Chairman of the Paramount Group, the largest independent defence and aerospace contractor in Africa, said: “Named after a famed African warrior, we believe that with Mbombe Paramount Group has developed a groundbreaking new vehicle that will take the international market by storm.

“The world has finally discovered that Africa has some of the best technologies available world wide at competitive prices. We have an amazing skills base, we are home to some of the best engineers in the world and they have developed technologies which are used globally and save lives every day.

Mbombe can carry considerable loads without loss of mobility. The three axles give it outstanding cross-country performance and make it an excellent platform for military operations over all types of terrain anywhere in the world.

Variants include Armoured Personnel Carrier, Armoured Combat Vehicle mounting a heavy machine gun or autocannon, Command Vehicle, Ambulance as well as a number of other options.

Ivor Ichikowitz continued: “Mbombe is well suited for use in both conventional and non-conventional war, peackeeping and counter-insurgency operations. Our configuration and variant options have been developed to provide maximum commonality, which means reduced overall cost of buying, owning and using Mbombe.

“As experience in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere has shown, too many modern vehicles suffer from reduced survivability when their mobility is compromised by the addition of extra armour or heavy weapons. Mbombe has sufficient power in hand to retain its outstanding mobility – even when combat laden and configured as an AFV carrying a modern automatic cannon.”

The vehicle provides ample space for a gunner and 8 fully equipped infantrymen and even at its most basic level it provides outstanding blast protection coupled with excellent levels of defence against kinetic attack. The low silhouette offers a reduced target profile with the armoured hull giving stopping power against ballistic attack up to STANAG 4569 Level IV.

Mbombe will withstand the explosion of 10kg of TNT anywhere under its hull or under any wheel station without rupture. Anti-blast seats prevent injury to the crew from the extreme acceleration following an explosion beside or under the vehicle. Modular protection can also be added if necessary to give additional defence against specific threats in any particular area of operations.

Paramount Group

Paramount Group, established 1994, is a Group of Companies operating in the international peacekeeping, defence and internal security industries. Its customers are Governments and Government Agencies throughout the world. It is a prime contractor and provides turnkey systems and solutions.

The Paramount Group is at the forefront of the growth of Africa’s defence tech

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