Paramount Group Kazakh defence industry to export worldwide

Paramount Group, a South Africa-based global defence and aerospace company, operates in countries in the Middle East, South America and Africa. Its joint venture Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE) produces advanced armoured wheeled vehicles, such as the Arlan 4x4, Nomad 4x4, Barys 6x6 and Barys 8x8, in the country.

Paramount Group s Kazakh defence industry to export worldwide 2
Arlan 4x4 displayed at Kadex 2018 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

As reported by Dilshat Zhussupova in The Astana Times on 7 November 2018, Paramount founder and executive chairperson Ivor Ichikowitz recently spoke on KPE’s further land, maritime and aerial production line expansion, which was announced in September at the 2018 Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition. KPE’s Astana factory has become one of the world’s most advanced military equipment factories and part of Paramount’s global supply chain. “Over the two to three years that the factory has been operating, we have trained a very capable workforce with levels of efficiency and quality that are as good as, if not better than, our production facilities around the world. It is natural that we would eventually be in a position to incorporate our Kazakhstan production capabilities into our global supply chain,” said Ichikowitz.

This incorporation translates into the factory’s increased capacity so that it may serve both domestic and international demand. Kazakhstan is thus poised to become a competitive exporter in the global defence and aerospace industry. “Many people are under the impression that you cannot be competitive in export businesses in Kazakhstan due to the challenging geography. We’re in the process of proving that that is not the case. The logistics are problematic but can be overcome if you have a high-level technology product with sufficient value added in Kazakhstan,” he added.

KPE currently produces the Arlan 4x4, a localised version of Paramount’s Marauder 8x8 used by many defence and peacekeeping forces worldwide. “Kazakhstan is to become one of the primary production vendors for the Marauder 8x8 in global sales,” said Ichikowitz. “We will also soon go into production on the world’s most sophisticated 8x8 mine-protected armoured vehicle, which will be called the Barys 8x8 in Kazakhstan and the Mbombe 8x8 elsewhere. Kazakhstan is to become one of the key centres of excellence for the Paramount Group’s production of 8x8s, which we are very excited about because these are very sophisticated armoured vehicles and not simple pieces of technology at all.”

The Barys 8x8 has undergone rigorous testing primarily in Kazakhstan, with involvement from Kazakh customers and armed forces who helped in refining the vehicle and its technology based on real world operational experience in a harsh climate. “It is our intention to migrate more technology into Kazakhstan’s production factory. At the moment, our focus is on armoured vehicles. Next, we are probably going to focus on unmanned autonomous systems,” he added.

Defence industrial capability is a key driver of broad industrial development. In building a strong foundation, a country also develops its human capital and fosters a culture of innovation. “For Kazakhstan to truly industrialise and develop an alternative to its oil-driven economy, it needs to develop a culture of innovation. We do that extensively in the defence industry and that will rub off. That takes time, but through cooperation with universities and research institutes and by proving to both Kazakh industrialists and the global market what can actually be achieved in the country, you create a new impetus for its industrialisation,” he said.


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