ASTANA – Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering’s (KPE) latest armoured wheeled vehicle, the Barys 6×6, recently showed it can stand up to even the harshest Kazakh winter conditions.
Barys, meaning snow leopard, is the Kazakh name for the Mbombe military vehicle designed and developed by the Paramount Group. It was recently tested in winter conditions in the Karaganda region.
In addition to the “nimble and speedy” Barys 6×6, the “larger and more powerful” Barys 8×8 model also passed its 2017 and 2018 field tests in Kazakhstan with flying colours.
“The most severe winter conditions prevailed during testing, similar to conditions found in Siberia. During this period, the temperature dropped to -45 degrees Celsius with a chill factor of -60 degrees Celsius, resulting in serious challenges to man and machine while conquering up to 750 millimetres of soft snow,” said Director of Astana’s KPE factory Johan Delport on the day and night trials, reports Paramount Group’s official website.
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 KPE produces advanced armoured wheeled vehicles, such as the Arlan 4×4, Nomad 4×4, Barys 6×6 and Barys 8×8, in the country. KPE’s Astana factory has become one of the world’s most advanced military equipment factories, with a capacity of more than 200 units per year, and is part of Paramount’s global supply chain.
At the testing grounds, Chief of the General Staff of the Kazakh Armed Forces Murat Maikeyev, KPE engineers and military experts observed the vehicle demonstration.
“Our Barys 6×6 is truly a high-speed fortress on wheels,” said its test driver Murat Isenov to Caravan.kz. “I drove it across the steppe at more than 100 kilometres per hour – it was a breeze.”
Barys 6×6 meets all modern technical requirements and compares favourably with vehicles of its class, said test drive leader Assan Zhakiyanov. The vehicle carries up to 11 people, three of which are crew members, and its weight is 22 tonnes with combat gear. Its design protects against landmines, improvised explosive devices and side blasts. It allows for continuous operation in -50 degrees Celsius and a maximum speed of 110 kilometres per hour. Effective concealment from adversary forces is as simple as reducing the vehicle’s silhouette to less than 2.4 metres, given its flat bottom hull. Accordingly, “all obstacles at the site were passed effortlessly,” he said.
Maikeyev emphasised that vehicles commissioned by the Kazakh Armed Forces must be distinguished by their convenience, efficiency, reliability and ease of use.
“We have always prioritised preserving the life of personnel, our army’s main asset. The manufacturer’s introduction of features such as the use of mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) technology, is a great direction to move toward,” he said, noting the vehicle’s STANAG 4569 mine protection level of three and ability to withstand 7.62 calibre bullets.
Kazakhstan’s military introduced its first Arlans, another in-demand KPE vehicle, in August 2016 and ordered another batch in May 2018. In November, KPE delivered Arlans to the Kazakh Special Forces and will additionally supply Kazakhstan’s Barys 6×6 and 8×8 vehicle order in the near future.