The Kazakh-South-African joint venture, “Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering” (KPE) introduced the new Barys 8X8 armored fighting vehicle at the KADEX – Kazakhstan’s defense expo. The JV will start producing the vehicles at the new 15,000 square meters assembly plant opened in 2015 in the Kazakh capital Astana.
KPE designed the facility to support a production rate of up to 200 vehicles per year, including 120 Barys. Therefore, they are seeking export ores to reach the full capacity. Kazakh sources said KPE is also designing the 6×6 variant that has recently begun assembly be in Jordan.
The prototype displayed at KADEX is a wheeled 8×8 armored vehicle uses Paramount’s new Mbombe 8×8 platform as a baseline. At a gross vehicle weight of 28 tons and curb weight of 19 tons, the vehicle can carry up to nine tons of payload, including weapon system, ammunition, crew, and supplies.
Apart from the new 8×8 platform the Barys unveiled at KADEX is fitted with the Russian AU-220M stabilized, remotely controlled turret mounting the new 57mm automatic cannon. The AU-220M developed by Burevestnik, a subsidiary of the Russian Uralvagonzavod group. The turret mounts the dual-feed 57mm cannon and 7.62 mm coaxial machine-gun. The maximum range of the 57mm cannon is 12 km. Its rate of fire is 120 rounds per minute. The turret can rotate 360 degrees in azimuth and from -5 to +75 degrees in elevation. The hull protection uses ballistic armor conforming with Level 3+ STANAG 4569 and level 4a/b for mine protection.
The KPE joint venture formed last year will produce three types of vehicles: One of them is the Barys; anther type already in production is the mine-resistant armor protected Arlan – a ‘winterized’ local variant of Paramount’s Marauder, which has entered production. The ‘winterized’ edition has heating and cooling systems and driveline that have been tested and cleared for operation in winter conditions of -55 °C and desert conditions of 55°C. A crew of three is operating the vehicle, which can carry eight fully equipped soldiers. KPE will also produce the Nomad, an armored police vehicle based on the Maverick. The Arlan was developed in collaboration with the Kazakhstan military and undergone trials with the country’s armed forces.
A six cylinder 550hp turbocharged diesel engine powers the vehicle. Coupled to an automatic transmission with six gear gears it develops a maximum speed of 110km/h and 800 km operating range.
According to Ben Jansen, CEO of Paramount’s armoured vehicle business, the new vehicle is part of a family of platforms comprising of 4 x 4, 6 x 6 and 8 x 8 AFVs which share over 80% of common components to reduce through life costs and make for easier training and logistics. “This commonality relates to both the driveline aggregates, as well as the fact that all three vehicles utilize a ‘conventional’ or ‘in-line’ automotive driveline configuration, positioning the power pack at the front of the vehicle and along its centre line. This configuration results in far greater efficiency in terms of the transfer of power from the power pack to the wheels, as the loss of power associated with a second transfer gearbox necessary for ‘unconventional’ drivelines, such as with side-engined vehicles, is eliminated.” Jansen noted.