DSEI 2023 – The Paramount Group goes Global

David Oliver

Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Paramount was formed in South Africa in 1994 with the bold goal of helping African governments better protect their countries

At DSEI, its founder Ivor Ichikowitz told EDR that, “we’re a global corporation, leading the way in global defence and aerospace innovation. We have more than 3,000 employees, working with sovereign governments across five continents and manufacturing in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

“We believe that our unique, solutions-focused approach has contributed enormously to our success. Many companies manufacture products and then take them to market. Paramount starts by assessing the security and defence challenges faced by the governments and agencies we work with. We then apply our unparalleled knowledge, wealth of experience and vast capabilities to craft world-class solutions to directly address these needs.”
Ichikowitz added that, “Our competitive edge allows us to source the best products and technologies through our global network of partners and suppliers. This makes us the unrivalled supplier of security, peacekeeping and defence packages to a variety of markets.”

In the air domain, Paramount has recently increased its footprint. With production of the indigenously designed Mwari aircraft ramping up in South Africa for customers in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo, plus others yet to be announced, Paramount is looking at Europe as a potential market.

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Mwari is a two-crew precision strike aircraft developed from its Advanced High Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC) capable of carrying a wide range of weapons, sensors and systems. It uses a pusher propeller and has an open system architecture allowing for the rapid plug and play incorporation of current and emerging ISR systems, and carries an interchangeable multi-mission pod allowing a single platform to perform multiple missions.

The Mwari, named Bronco II, took part in the US Special Operations Command’s Armed Overwatch competition in 2021, entered by a team comprising Leidos, Paramount USA, and Vertex. However, after several successful flights, the aircraft suffered a main wheel collapse resulting in minor damage to the aircraft. Although it was quickly repaired, the Bronco II was later eliminated from the competition.

Ivor Ichikowitz admitted to EDR On-Line that the main reason for the Bronco II’s failure was that the team lacked the political clout of its US-based competitors. The aircraft has since been reconfigured as one of two company-owned Mwaris being used for training customers pilots.

Ichikowitz said that the company was not offering the armed variant to Europe, but the two-crew aircraft can carry out a wide range of operations, including surveillance, policing, border/coastal patrol and anti-smuggling tasks, patrol and counter insurgency operations; disaster relief and emergency supply to remote areas. The aircraft could be fitted with other turboprop engines than the PT-6A, or even a jet engine.

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In February 2023 Paramount Aerospace Systems announce a partnership with AAL Group Ltd for the marketing of Russian Mil-type helicopter composite main and tail rotor blades, from facilities within the UAE.

Paramount Global CEO, Steve Griessel, stated: “Paramount’s composite main rotor blade development started in 2006, in response to a customer requirement. The composite blades were designed to provide the same functional and performance capability, enabling installation without any recertification of the helicopter platform elements, limiting certification only to the composite blades. This substantially reduces the development and qualification process and does not affect any other major or structural parts.”

With the current challenges in supplies and deliveries of the main rotor blades, customers are unable to maintain their fleets and continue providing the necessary security and defence support to ensure their sovereignty. With increasing demand, composite blades production can be ramped up to provide a source for continued operations and offer customers longer usage life while reducing dependence on the challenging supplies network.

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A New Partnership between Hellenic Defence Systems (EAS) and Global Aerospace and Technology company was announced in Greece in May 2023, aimed at the local production of the IRIX next generation, long-range loitering munition, in a significant move to strengthen the Greek defence industry’s indigenous manufacturing capabilities. IRIX is based on Paramount’s N-Raven unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology which was digitally designed with quick transfer of technology in mind, to enable governments to manufacture the loitering munitions technologies in their countries.

Ivor Ichikowitz’s confidence for his Group was sky-high at DSEI 2023.

Photos courtesy Paramount