South African defence group Paramount announced on Thursday that it had bought the manufacturing facilities and certain other assets of DCD Protected Mobility (part of South Africa’s DCD industrial and engineering group), as well as taking transfer of selected personnel. Paramount describes itself as Africa’s largest privately-owned defence and aerospace group.
Paramount took control of the facilities and staff, which are located in Isando in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg, on April 1. “The capabilities that existed in DCD Protected Mobility’s manufacturing facilities will be integrated with Paramount Combat Systems, enabling us to bolster the strength and diversity of our production, leading to increased business opportunities, innovation, new product development and R&D [research and development],” stated Paramount Combat Systems CEO Ben Jansen.
“It has always been Paramount Group’s vision to develop equipment that can be produced in customer countries, while maintaining high value jobs in design, research and development and production in South Africa,” explained Paramount Industrial Holdings CEO John Craig. “In anticipation of significant growth in our order book, we have been investigating the prospects of greatly increasing our production capability in South Africa.”
Hence the decision to acquire the DCD Protected Mobility facility. Paramount intends to develop the facility so that it will have the capacity to produce more than 400 units a year. “This will have a significant impact on the supplier base and for the South African economy at large,” affirmed Paramount Group Executive Chairperson Ivor Ichikowitz.
The newly acquired plant will initially be used to manufacture Paramount Mbombe 6 infantry fighting vehicles for Jordan. The Jordanians have ordered 50 of these vehicles, which will be produced in both South Africa and the Middle Eastern country.
“It has always been my personal ambition to make decisions around Paramount Group’s growth which will support the development of the South African aerospace and defence industry at large,” stated Ichikowitz. “At Paramount Group we have always believed that the technologies which we develop and the products which we manufacture, are competencies that belong to the African continent. We are firmly committed to continuing the development, design, research and manufacturing capability on the African continent.”