South African company Paramount Group has secured a hat-trick of deals at this year’s International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi this week as it seeks to extend cooperation in the Middle East.
On 23 February, the company signed a contract with Jordan’s King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) for 50 6x6 Mbombe protected patrol vehicles with KADDB CEO Major General Omar Al Kaldi and Paramount Group chairman Ivor Ichikowitz agreeing the contract which will see manufacturing of the vehicles in Jordan.
“The production of Mbombe in Jordan signals an important milestone in the continuing growth of the defence industrial capability in the Middle East. The Mbombe will become the platform for the future 6x6 requirements of the Jordanian Armed Forces,” Al Kaldi explained.
Meanwhile, Ichikowitz added: “Jordan has a strategic position and role in the Middle East in building stability and security across the region.”
The agreement follows testing of the Mbombe vehicle in harsh desert conditions in Jordan and the UAE where temperatures reach 50C. The vehicle was also subjected to -50C in Kazakhstan during winter trials.
“The nature of threats that armed forces in the Middle East are facing has intensified. Armed forces demand world-leading technologies and capabilities to combat these threats.”
The Mbombe vehicle comprises flat-hull mine protection technology and provides protection against 14.5mm heavy machine gun rounds as well as similar levels of protection against 155mm artillery bursts. Its Level 4 mine protection also allows protection against 10kg mines detonating under the hull or wheels. According to Paramount Group, it can also withstand a 50kg TNT blast.
Production of Mbombe in Jordan is schedule to begin immediately.
Additionally, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ukrainian company Motor Sich JSC to cooperate in production and modernisation of helicopters and aviation engineering products.
Present at the ceremony was Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko who saw the companies commit to future transfers of technologies regarding rotary wing systems.
Paramount Group designed the Super Hind helicopter while Motor Sich JSC concentrates on helicopter maintenance and repair as well as engine manufacturing.
Finally, Paramount Group revealed plans to build a new factory and runway for its Advanced High Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC) as it prepares to target the Middle East market.
The aircraft completed its first flight in July and has since completed a total of 65 hours of test flying. Evaluation has now extended onto handling, airframe systems, centre of gravity, performance ranges and rough field capabilities, a company spokesman informed Military Technology.
“We have seen particular interest from across the Middle East region. We have always understood the strong relevance of AHRLAC as an innovative, multi-role and cost-effective solution to the environments and threats that air forces are facing in the region.”
The company has identified a location in South Africa for the manufacturing site, details of which remain undisclosed.