Abu Dhabi-based Nimr, part of defence conglomerate Edge, has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabian Military Industries (Sami) to transfer technology for manufacturing JAIS 4x4 military vehicles in the kingdom.
The two companies signed the deal during the World Defence Show 2022 held in Riyadh this week. Nimr and Sami had signed a co-operation agreement during the International Defence Exhibition (Idex) held in Abu Dhabi last year.
“The new agreement further solidifies the partnership between Sami and Nimr,” Walid Abukhaled, chief executive of Sami, said on Thursday.
“With this manufacturing licence agreement, we at Sami are taking a huge step towards our mission to develop world-class defence technologies and systems within Saudi Arabia, in line with the Vision 2030 objective to localise 50 per cent of the kingdom’s military spending.”
Gulf countries, particularly the UAE and Saudi Arabia, are working to localise manufacture of military equipment as they focus on reducing their economic reliance on oil.
Sami, which operates through five main divisions, aims to generate $5 billion in annual sales by 2025 as it looks to become one of the top 25 defence companies in the world. The company is owned by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund.
Nimr is one of the 25 entities that make up Edge — a defence group formed in 2019 that specialises in developing advanced technology for weapons systems, cyber protection and electronic warfare.
Other businesses in the conglomerate include Adasi, Abu Dhabi Ship Building and arms manufacturer Caracal.
“It is truly a defining moment for us to enter the first major defence procurement programme between the UAE and Saudi Arabia,” said Abri du Plessis, chief executive of Nimr.
Nimr plans to export its military vehicles to more countries. It unveiled its second-generation Ajban 4x4 and Hafeet 6x6 armoured vehicles during Idex last year.