For Paramount Group founder and Chairman Ivor Ichikowitz, innovation is a constant. Whether it’s lending vehicle support to anti-poaching efforts in South Africa or brokering deals with industry giants like Airbus, Ichikowitz is an instrumental figure in pushing Africa further and further into the defense contracting space. Most recently, Paramount Group, the defense and aerospace firm nearing 25 years of operation, finalized plans on launching the Bronco-II, a multi-purpose aircraft that could be put into service as soon as 2018.
“When Paramount Group decided to launch the Bronco-II for the U.S. market, an aerial platform set out to match the needs of asymmetrical warfare was still considered a novel concept,” Ichikowitz said. “This is a multi-purpose aircraft, designed for maximum real-time configurability, operating at an affordable cost.”
Ichikowitz, a native of Springs, South Africa, has labored mightily to help modernize Africa’s defense economy. Having previously produced armored personnel carriers and aircraft such as the MWARI, the Bronco-II is just the latest innovation from Paramount Group whose make-up Ichikowitz hopes will be an asset to not only African militaries, but the United States and its partner nations, as well: “The Bronco-II is truly a find/fix/finish aircraft. It was designed for maximum real-time configurability, which itself is a very special mission.”
In an effort to give the Bronco-II platform life, Paramount Group formed an active partnership with the Boeing subsidiary Aviall, a company that Ichikowitz was nothing if not bullish on: “The idea behind the teaming agreement was a complete turn-key solution. Boeing has been an active participant for some years and Aviall, as well, brings a great track record to the table.”
Ichikowitz, as well, was more than optimistic about the opportunity for Paramount Group with regard to future ventures into the U.S. market at large: “With regard to land, sea and air expansion to the United States markets, absolutely a huge market available to us there,” he mused. “We’re one of the younger companies in the world that do what we do and do so with versatility and affordability.”
In an age where defense programs such as the much-publicized F-35 are often over budget and rife with controversy, the Bronco-II combat system seems like a welcome value-add to the global defense community. As for when the platform will be made available for deployment, Ichikowitz did not shy away from giving a timeline: “Our target delivery date for the Bronco-II is late 2018 and shortly thereafter we hope to begin showing the Bronco-II to prospective customers.”
Paramount Group has been active in the development of everything from the Marauder armored personnel carrier to a 3D printing driven robotics development wing, to aviation. As a prime contractor, Paramount Group is active across five different continents and continues to develop innovative, cost-effective technologies in both defense and aerospace.
When asked if he feels his company is well-positioned for continued growth, Ichikowitz was more than confident: “Right now, we’re building a solution around how to give customers the best available tech at the best available price, which is quickly becoming one of our areas of expertise.”
As the global defense market continues to grow and demand versatile, cost-effective solutions, companies like Paramount Group will only become more and more important and, for innovators like Ivor Ichikowitz, the technologies brought to the global forefront will be anything but routine.