Kazakhstan manufacturer of armored vehicles relies on Allison automatic transmissions

Requiring a transmission that is easy to integrate and can handle extremes of climate and terrain, Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE) has chosen the Allison Transmission 3000 Serie for its newest armored vehicles.

Kazakhstan manufacturer of armored vehicles relies on Allison automatic transmissions
KPE Barys 8x8 APC (Picture source: Army Recognition)

KPE currently produces or plan to produce the Arlan AWV (armored wheel vehicle) 4x4, the Nomad AWV 4х4, and the Barys armored personnel carrier 6х6 and 8х8. These armored vehicles are mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP). They are equipped with Cummins diesel engines and 6-speed Allison fully automatic transmissions.

According to Deputy Director General at Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering, Johan Delport, the development of the drivetrain began in 2006. The company’s engineers compared several transmission solutions offered by various manufacturers by testing them in real-life scenarios.

“When selecting the transmission to pair with the Cummins diesel engine, we focused on two basic factors. The first one is the simplicity and speed of integration, which impacts the production and maintenance speed. In this regard, the fully-automated Allison transmission was a very successful solution as it is quite popular and widespread, and it has shown good results in combination with this engine,” said Delport.

Transmission weight was another consideration. “You see, armored vehicles are rather heavy themselves. So we had to use any opportunity to reduce the total weight of our vehicles. The Allison automatics have enabled us to achieve this goal as well. In general, we have had no serious problems with Allison transmissions during the many years of use on different types of vehicles and in various global operating conditions.”

Another important factor is that operating conditions in Kazakhstan are quite peculiar. The annual temperature range is about 100 °C, literally from +50 °C in summer to –50 °C in winter. This is the reason why the cooling system of the engine and the transmission and the power supply system have been significantly improved especially for Kazakhstan.

“Taking into account such tough temperature conditions and the terrain changing depending on the region – from southern mountains, central flats to northern hills – the transmission has to be exceptionally reliable and efficient,” Delport added. “Our experience of operating Allison automatics showed that they are perfect for such conditions. In particular, they have a second operating mode intended for mountainous areas, and you can switch between modes with a single button. Moreover, all transmissions used in our armored vehicles are configured by Allison engineers for a sandy terrain, which ensures improved off-road performance.”

However, one of the main advantages of fully-automatic Allison transmissions is the ease of operation in military vehicles: Allison automatics ensure an exceptional ease of handling, maneuverability and quick acceleration by smoothly multiplying engine torque and delivering more power to the wheels. The driver can concentrate on the road without paying attention to gear change, which is highly important in combat conditions when every second counts.

“It is important that you can easily get used to new armored vehicles due to Allison transmissions. Not only trained drivers, but any person with basic driving skills can do it,” Delport explained. Our employees drive AWVs: all of them easily manage it on the fly, without any problems.”

The armed forces of Kazakhstan (the Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan is the major customer of these vehicles) duly appreciated the new armored vehicles; they are reliable, efficient and easy to use. “Modern military vehicles know no compromises because of the peculiarity of their scope of application,” Delport summarizes. “This is why they are equipped with Allison transmissions that ensure the ultimate combination of reliability, excellent performance and ease of operation.”


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