ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Jordan has become the first customer for the Mbombe 6x6 armored infantry combat vehicle from South Africa's Paramount Group.
The initial 50 vehicles for the Jordanian armed forces will be assembled in Jordan by KADDB, or the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau, which will also produce some components for it.
Additional details of the deal, including its monetary value, were not disclosed.
"The production of Mbombe in Jordan signals an important milestone in the continuing growth of the defense industrial capability in the Middle East," The signing of the contract follows an extensive programme of vehicle trials comprising 50°Celsius desert environments in Jordan and the UAE, to -50° Celsius during winter trials in Kazakhstan. The Mbombe successfully completed the rigorous trials and in the process covered more than 10,000 km in the world's most harsh and challenging environments.
"The Mbombe will become the platform for the future 6x6 requirements of the Jordanian Armed Forces. By integrating our technologies, engineering skills and know-how we are looking forward to bringing innovation to the industry."
The Mbombe features flat hull, Level 4 mine-protected technology for protection against 22-pound land mines and improvised explosive devices with a blast equivalent to as much as 100 pounds of TNT. Ballistic protection is provided against 14.5mm heavy machine gun rounds, and similar levels of protection are employed for protection from 155mm artillery bursts.
The Paramount Group and KADDB announced the deal at an international defense exhibition in the United Arab Emirates.
"Paramount Group and the Jordanian defense industry have a long history of collaboration and we are very excited to support the development of a defense industrial base in Jordan that will contribute to employment, skills development and technology transfer and training," said Ivor Ichikowitz, founder and executive chairman of Paramount Group. 'This is an important milestone for Jordan and South Africa's defense collaboration."