Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE) reports that its flagship and next-generation Barys 8X8 infantry combat vehicle (ICV) has successfully completed a four-year series of trials conducted by the Ministry of Defence of Kazakhstan, bringing the vehicle a step closer to its first production order.
KPE is a joint venture between South Africa-based aerospace and technology company Paramount Group and Kazakhstan-based defence and engineering company Kazpetromash.
The Barys 8X8 which translates as Snow Leopard in Kazakh – is a version of Paramount Group’s Mbombe 8 ICV and is designed and adapted for the Kazakhstan climate and was unveiled for the first time at the KADEX Exhibition of 2016.
Over the span of four years, the Barys 8X8 was tested throughout the mountainous terrains of southern Kazakhstan, across forested and savannah-like steppe and the salt marshes of central Kazakhstan. The campaign came to a conclusion upon the sands of Mangistau, near the Caspian Sea, covering a total distance of 25 000 km.
In addition to testing the mobility and versatility of Barys, its firepower was also tested with more than 5 000 rounds of 30 mm ammunition and 7 000 rounds of 7.62 mm calibre ammunition having been discharged.
The Barys 8X8 had previously undergone testing activities in adverse weather conditions across central Asia, withstanding temperatures between 45 °C in summer and -60 °C in winter during the trials.
Further, the Barys 8X8 reinforces Paramount Group’s 27-year legacy of its so-called “portable manufacturing model” as it is manufactured within Kazakhstan at the 15 000 m2 KPE armoured vehicle production facility in Nursultan.
Staffed by over 200 Kazakhstani employees, the facility has for years served as a hub of localised manufacture and a centralised base for the provision of modern equipment to Kazakhstan’s special operations forces and its Ministry of Defense, providing the capacity to produce hundreds of armoured vehicles a year.
Paramount Land Systems group executive chairperson John Craig says the successful completion of testing the Barys 8X8 is an important milestone in the success story of KPE. “This further demonstrates the advanced potential of Kazakhstan’s defence industry, offering state-of-the-art facilities and high-level skills for the development of indigenously manufactured defence technologies to the wider region.”
BARYS 8X8 VERSATILITY
The Barys 8X8 ICV is a multi-purpose armoured vehicle, offering its crew of up to 11 (including a driver, two crew members and eight infantry troops) advanced technological solutions to address regional threats in often harsh and rugged environments.
The vehicle was built-for-purpose to meet the increasing demands in the region for versatility, high-mobility and the need for mine-resistant platforms.
While providing a maximum speed of 110 km/h and an operating range of 800 km, the Barys 8X8 can carry a payload up to 9 t, and has STANAG 4569 Level 4B protection against mines, improvised explosive devices and roadside shell-less landmines.
The anti-mine flat-bottom of the Barys 8X8 also enables its silhouette to be reduced to 2.4 m, providing additional advantages in combat, as well as protecting against the excessive force of improvised explosive devices.
Moreover, the Barys 8X8’s special anti-mine seats have been designed and equipped within the vehicle to prevent injury to the crew in the event of an explosion near or directly under the vehicle.
In terms of attack capabilities, the Barys 8X8 has an Ansar-manned combat automatic system, wholly-produced in Kazakhstan – a remotely controlled turret variant with a 30 mm 2A72 automatic gun equipped with stabilising barrel support, a twin 7.62 mm PKT(M) machine gun, ammunition storage, feeding and loading system. The turret also has 81 mm smoke grenade launchers.
As for surveillance and mobility, the Barys 8X8 has a retractable searching and tracking system with a television camera, thermal imager, laser rangefinder, night vision devices and a weather station. In addition, a missile guidance unit can be installed, capable of addressing low-flying aerial targets.