Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE), the Kazakhstani division of South African defence and aerospace company Paramount Group, has delivered a new batch of mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) armoured vehicles, called Arlan, to the Kazakhstan Special Forces.
KPE, which is a joint venture between Paramount Group and Kazakhstan Engineering Distribution is ramping up production capacity at its facility and has already started production on the next large order for Arlan vehicles, with further deliveries expected during 2018.
The Arlan is based on the South African-designed and manufactured Marauder MRAP. The newly delivered units will be used by the Kazakh Ministry of Defence, special forces and other law enforcement agencies.
The vehicle has undergone extensive testing in extreme conditions and environments across Kazakhstan, followed by a design phase at Paramount Group’s Innovation Centre to fully “winterise” the vehicles for the harsh winter conditions experienced in Kazakhstan.
The winterisation of the Arlan included additional heating of the crew cabin; changing specifications of all systems and engine fluids, lubricants and fuels to an all-season type that covers temperatures from -50 oC to 50 oC; and heated ballistic windows.
The Arlan vehicles produced for the Kazakh special forces are equipped with various auxiliary equipment inclusive of various special communication suites, other electronics, roof-mounted wire-cutting blades and a barricade-breaker blade, which is mounted to the front of the vehicle and is hydraulically operated from the driver station.
Some of the other features installed include night vision equipment, infrared cameras, a laptop station and global positioning systems.
The 15 000 m2 KPE armoured vehicle factory in the Kazakh capital of Astana is the largest armoured vehicle factory in Central Asia, according to Paramount Group. It is also the first defence manufacturing plant with this scale of capability in Kazakhstan.
The facility has capacity to produce more than 200 vehicles a year, with production capacity designed to meet the regional demand for land systems technologies.
Paramount Group chairperson Ivor Ichikowitz said that in less than two years, Paramount Group has built the new KPE armoured vehicle factory “from the ground up”, as well as transferred skills to Kazakhstanis to establish a “highly efficient” local workforce.
In addition, he said Paramount Group industrialised a new vehicle and is now ramping up production as the group of companies increases deliveries to its customers.