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Paramount Group Launches Young Engineers Development Programme


Paramount Group Launches Young Engineers Development Programme

Paramount Group, the global aerospace and technology company, announced the launch of a unique engineering mentorship and training program, aimed at fast tracking young engineers by equipping them with the skills and experience required to excel in the workplace, while ensuring a sustainable talent pool for its current and future skills requirements.

Bridging the gap between university and the workplace, the 18 month-long Young Engineers Development Program [YEDP] will immerse and rotate engineers across all of Paramount’s manufacturing businesses, exposing them to world-leading technologies and innovations in the land, sea and air domains. Through a rigorous selection process, a group of nine recently graduated engineers were selected from a shortlist of 103 candidates, following more than 800 applications received from across South Africa.

Martie Baumgardt, Group HR Director of Paramount Group stated: “Paramount has a wide range of capabilities, allowing these young engineers to be mentored by experienced engineering teams based at our various innovation centers, naval shipyards, and our land systems and aerospace factories.  The blended training will combine traditional classroom training with on-line learning, practical projects, solving real-world complex problems, assignments and case studies, and seminars by external thought leaders and experts in their fields.

“The training will also cover soft skills development such as EQ, diversity appreciation, and conflict resolution. The aim is to develop a well-rounded and workplace-ready engineer, who is not only fully competent in his/her specialization, but will also develop competence in areas such as leadership, project management, supply chain, production, and finances.”

Through this program, the company is proactively addressing local engineering skills shortages through the YEDP which will enable experienced senior engineers within the company to share their skills and decades-long experience with the selected young engineers.

In their first week at the company, participants in the YEDP were exposed to a packed program that included an introduction to the company, a special session on the different career paths open to professional engineers, and presentations from senior engineers from within the subsidiary companies on current and new technologies, and future development plans and projects.

Participants in the YEDP toured the manufacturing facilities at Paramount’s Midrand Campus, including a fully robotic electronics production line, a high-tech water jet parts cutting facility, an armored vehicle welding line and final assembly plant, and a visit to its state-of-the-art aircraft manufacturing facility north of Pretoria.

“My first week at Paramount was completely amazing,” said Mr Thabo Tlale, a recently graduated engineer who grew up in a small village near Rustenburg called Dikebu. “I had no idea how many amazing technologies Paramount has expertise in,” said the young engineer who recently graduated from University of Johannesburg, and the first to graduate as an engineer in his family.

“The company made us feel like VIPs, and we received all types of amazing training in the first few weeks,” said Tlale, adding: “I feel very optimistic about my future, and very privileged to be working on an exciting UAV program. Week two was pretty tough because we had to hit the ground running with the first test flight coming up. I was tasked with complex materials strength calculations, and we were all under so much pressure and learning fast.”

Baumgardt added: “These young engineers are at the very beginning of their careers and their personal growth is very important for the long-term prosperity of our business. They are our next generation of engineers and the future of the company. We are investing heavily in them.”



Paramount Group, the global aerospace and technology company, announced today that its multi-mission, Mwari aerial platform has been equipped with advanced anti-drone technologies, enabling the deployment of the aircraft as an effective hunter and killer of Medium Altitude and Long Endurance Drones (MALEs).

The clean-sheet designed Mwari is the next evolution in ‘Find, Fix & Finish’ technologies optimized for the anti-drone defence environment, capable of engaging MALE drones at altitudes of 20,000-30,000 feet, where only highly sophisticated and costly ground-based air defence systems (GBADS) can reach, and which would otherwise require the intervention of fighter jets.

Advanced sensors, an extended range, and pinpoint accuracy are at the forefront of the Mwari’s innovative system design, making the platform an ideal solution for the threats posed by MALE drones to the territorial integrity of sovereign nations.

The Mwari is capable of loitering at a minimum speed of 110kts for up to 10 hours of flight time (with optional external fuel tanks for added endurance). It can be fully equipped with new generation, multi-role air-to-air missiles (with an engagement range of 4,000m) alongside rapid-fire, wing-mounted cannon pods (with an engagement range of 800m), offering the latest in advanced anti-drone lethality.

This capability builds on inherent onboard situational awareness technologies such as an encrypted, high-bandwidth data link and multi-spectrum search and track sensors, long range optical and radar surveillance systems, a SA7 CRM – Satellite Communication link, AIS – Ship ID Systems and real-time video; today, mission-critical hardware and software which can assess targets, including MALEs in the 2,000 kg class, typically flown in high altitude surveillance patterns.

Superior crew and sensor visibility of the unique Mwari design provides ultimate situational awareness, either during day or night, ensuring that the aerial platform can undertake a wide range of missions, in austere and remote environments and on unprepared runways while requiring a limited logistical footprint.

Steve Griessel, CEO of Paramount Group, stated that, “Historically, prohibitive costs have restricted anti-drone systems targeting MALE drone threats. Amidst this paradigm is where the Mwari perfectly steps in, the next and best-in-class precision technology, and able to operate at a fraction of the cost of alternative anti-drone solutions. No other singular aircraft has such an intuitive multi-mission application or can reach similar altitudes while hosting what is the industry’s gold standard in situational awareness technology.”

An Interchangeable Multi-Mission System Bay (IMSB) located in the fuselage further allows for system changes ‘on the fly;’ updates, additions, and integrations in real-time are made possible, ensuring that the single airframe can be easily re-configured for different missions.

Despite hosting such highly advanced technologies, the Mwari can be rapidly disassembled, transported in a C-130 or equivalent, and reassembled at a remote base, by a small crew with minimal infrastructure.

“We look forward to leveraging the innovative Mwari’s robust applications as the pre-eminent anti-drone defence solution and to its exciting next steps in adoption by our global partners,” Griesel concluded.

Drawing on both Paramount Group’s commitment to innovation and its extensive research and development (R&D) and manufacturing experience, the Mwari has been designed with portable production in mind. The aircraft could, depending on customer requirements, be exported in kit format for final assembly in customer countries and can easily integrate into supply chains around the world, enabling scalable mass production.


About Paramount Group

Paramount Group is a global aerospace and technology company, a leader in defence and security innovation and is a trusted partner to sovereign governments around the world, providing ground-breaking products, services and consultancy, including support for peacekeeping missions. Please visit for more information and follow us on Twitter.



Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE), the joint venture between the global aerospace and technology business, Paramount Group and one of Kazakhstan’s leading defence and engineering companies, Kazpetromash, has announced its latest delivery of Arlan 4×4 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) to the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in accordance with that nation’s State Defence Order.

Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering has for over the past four years delivered several batches of the Arlan APC to the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan, where they have since been in operation.

The Arlan, the winterised variant of Paramount Group’s Marauder, is a mine-resistant armoured platform (MRAP) designed to operate in extreme environments to meet the ever-growing array of mission requirements undertaken by Kazakhstan’s Armed Forces, such as quick reaction force operations, infantry fire support or long-range border patrol.

The vehicle is renowned for its adaptability to the diverse conditions of Kazakhstan and the greater Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), with features including pre-ignition engine heating and a dynamic temperature control system that can carry personnel safely and comfortably in winter conditions (as low as – 50 degrees Celsius) and summer temperatures (up to 50 degrees Celsius).

The Arlan armoured vehicles are all locally manufactured (comprising up to 70% local content) at the 15,000m2 KPE armoured vehicle production facility in Nursultan, one of the largest and most modern armoured vehicle factories in the region. Over two-hundred Kazakhstanis are presently employed by Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE), providing modern equipment for Kazakhstan’s Special Operations Forces and its Ministry of Defense. The facilities serve as a center for excellence and high-skills employment, with the capacity to produce hundreds of armored vehicles per year.

John Craig, Executive Chairman of Paramount Land Systems, stated that, “The COVID-19 pandemic and particularly, its direct ramifications to global supply chains has underscored the critical impetus behind governments honing their home-grown capabilities and emboldening their defence industrial complexes to remain resilient in the face of often-fluctuating circumstances and their exogenous aftershocks”.

The indigenously produced Arlan can withstand the debris and dissipating energy of explosions, its double-skin spaced armour providing outstanding security (including blast protection of STANAG 4569 Level 3a & 3b, stopping power against a 50kg TNT side blast, protecting against roadside bombs and IEDs, and with 8kg blast protection under the hull) while reaching a speed of up to 120km/hr for a range of 700km.

In addition to the Arlan’s advanced protections and durability, with a kerb weight of 13,500 kg and offering up to a 4,500kg payload, the highly versatile APC can ford at 1.2m and is capable of climbing gradients of 60% and side slopes of 35%.

The interoperable vehicle, accommodating two crew members and up to seven troops, is further equipped with a nuclear, biological and chemical protection system (NBC) which can address the challenges of radiation dust spread, gas and/or biological attacks, along with a mechanical 12,7 mm turret. The Arlan can carry extra fuel tanks, water and additional combat supplies, with optional add-ons including however not limited to a Winterisation Kit and Central Tyre Inflation System (CTIS), alongside various weapon and fire suppression systems.

“In 2022, maintaining security of supply in the defence arena will be a key priority for governments across the globe. Accordingly, the successful delivery of this latest fleet of Arlans to the customer emblemises not only our legacy of delivering highly customised solutions on time and on budget, but also our partners’ pragmatic role in mitigating the impact of global threats. KPE is indeed a strategic cornerstone of Kazakhstan’s technological prowess,” Craig concluded.


About Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE)

Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE) is the joint venture between Paramount Group, the global technology and aerospace company, and Kazakhstan Engineering, the leading defence company in Kazakhstan. KPE is one of the leading defence companies in Kazakhstan and the greater CIS region.

About Paramount Group

Paramount Group is a global technology and aerospace business, a leader in defence and security innovation and is a trusted partner to sovereign governments across the globe.

Paramount specialises in the creation of portable manufacturing facilities through technology and skills transfer, resulting in new local capabilities and sustainable jobs, proven to not only benefit local defence industrial capabilities but economic diversification and growth.

Paramount Group has been responsible for the development and production of a broad range of highly advanced armored and mine protected vehicles that are in operation around the world. The family of APC and combat vehicles which has been developed from clean-sheet design is at the vanguard of armored vehicle technologies. These vehicles have been designed and developed to meet the increasing demand for multi-role, high mobility, and mine hardened platforms, providing a solution to the ever-changing demands of the global battlefield.

Please visit for more information and follow us on Twitter.

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Paramount Group, the global aerospace and technology company, announced today that it has appointed Steve Griessel as its Group Chief Executive Officer.

South African-born Griessel, a global business executive who served as CEO of several companies in South Africa and the United States, including two public companies, brings more than 30 years of business leadership and senior management experience to the group.

Griessel, who is well known for driving innovative management practices across various industries, will assume the new role with immediate effect. He will be responsible for providing strategic, financial and operational leadership and will work closely with the Board of Directors, shareholders and senior leadership team.

Ivor Ichikowitz, Founder of Paramount Group stated: “Paramount Group is a unique organization; its ethos is based on extreme agility and innovation. It is not a typical manufacturing or engineering company and therefore requires a very unique style of leadership and business acumen.  We are fortunate to have someone of Steve’s caliber and experience coming in to lead Paramount Group globally.

“Steve is a proven leader with a strong business vision who has demonstrated his ability to bring people together and achieve results in highly competitive markets. The opportunity ahead for Paramount is vast, and to seize it we must continue to innovate and deliver world-leading technologies and solutions to our customers.”

Griessel who prior to his recent appointment held the position of CEO of Paramount USA, Paramount’s US-based subsidiary, stated:

“It is an honor to take on the role of Group CEO. We are at an important milestone in our evolution as we further globalize our operations and expand our network of strategic partnerships with Governments and major corporations around the world.  This leadership role is critical as Paramount continues to evolve by entering new markets, and expanding its innovations and technologies, in order to take advantage of a substantially increasing global market for our products and services.”

“Over the last 27 years, Paramount Group has experienced exceptional growth and success. I had the distinct privilege in my previous role of working closely with the Paramount family; I know their passion and commitment to innovation, engineering excellence and customer-focused solutions.

“Together with my professional and experienced executive team, I will be focusing on setting up the business to meet Paramount’s global ambitions. I am confident that we will continue to build strong industrial partnerships around the world through our portable production model; supporting governments in meeting their economic development objectives. I’m looking forward to being part of a world-class team that delivers future-proof technologies and solutions to its customers, invests in its people by developing the most talented professionals into leaders, and plays its part to improve the communities in which it operates. ”