IDEX 2019: Milkor reveals early design of new 8×8
Tucked away in the corner of IDEX 2019 South African company Milkor made its debut at the Abu Dhabi event with talk of the early development of an 8×8 armoured vehicle.
The design and development of the new 8×8 follows the launch of the company’s 4×4 APC at AAD 2018 in South Africa.
According to Armand Bodenstein, senior marketing manager at Milkor, the new 8×8 vehicle design is to focus on the balance between the drivetrain and independent suspension. Still in the early stages, the company is currently in the CAD system testing stage.
‘The drivetrain is where we see we can stand apart,’ Bodenstein said.
In its long-term plan the company is also looking to add a 6×6 vehicle to its product portfolio – however the choice was made to develop the 8×8 first.
While there is no firm timeline for testing as of yet Bodenstein suggested that there will be a more significant announcement on the 8×8 at AAD 2020.
It is likely that the development of this family of vehicles will see Milkor directly up against Paramount Group of South Africa with its family of Mbombe vehicles which have already had some export success. The company unveiled its 8×8, the Mbombe 8, back in 2016 and is showcasing the next generation of its Mbombe 4, the 4×4 variant, at IDEX 2019.
Meanwhile, the company has been kept busy in the Middle East and following various RfIs is now negotiating a deal with one customer for around $100 million. However, Bodenstein was unable to specify the customer, or the product.
Meanwhile, the company has other development plans in the works with its unmanned systems, of which there are three in its portfolio. Bodenstein said that there are plans for weaponisation of the two larger UAVs, the MA 380 and the MA 80, with small guided bombs.
In addition, testing of the Centurion high speed interceptor is now in the final stages. The company says that the 12m vessel has able to reach speeds up to 54kt but is hoping to achieve up to 60kt.
Speaking on markets Bodenstein said that the company is looking to focus on growing and emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific.