NIMR Automotive on Thursday bagged a contract to supply more than 1,765 armoured vehicles to the UAE Armed Forces in a huge boost to the domestic defence industry.
NIMR, a unit of Abu Dhabi-owned Emirates Defence Industries Company (Edic), was awarded three contracts to supply 1,500 Jais 4x4 and 6x6 infantry fighting vehicles, more than 150 Hafeet 630A artillery support vehicles and 115 Ajban 440 vehicles equipped with guided missile systems.
Deliveries will start from 2018, it said in a statement.
“The UAE’s decision to expand its current fleet of NIMR-made vehicles is testament to the standards and increased capability [of] our products,” said the NIMR chief executive Fahad Harhara. “The Jais, Hafeet and Ajban range are combat-proven and will continue to protect [the] lives of our soldiers on the battlefield.”
NIMR, whose vehicles have been used in combat operations in Yemen, won the contract on the final day of the five-day biennial International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex) taking place in Abu Dhabi.
NIMR, which means Tiger in Arabic, will build the new vehicles at a new 37,500 square metres facility in Tawazun Industrial Park in Ajban, Abu Dhabi.
On the first day of the exhibition NIMR clinched the biggest contract, a Dh2.42 billion deal to supply 400 8x8 armoured vehicles to the UAE Armed Forces.
During the expo, NIMR unveiled its Jais 6x6 and the Rapid Intervention Vehicle. It has also signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Czech manufacturer VOP for the marketing, distribution, production and after-sale support of a range of vehicles to the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.
Edic is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi investment company Mubadala Development and Tawazun Holding.
Mubadala, Tawazun Holding and Emirates Advanced Investment Group agreed in 2014 to combine their defence services businesses into Edic to help develop the local defence industry.
Edic provides manufacturing, training, mapping, logistics, technology development and communications as well as maintenance, repair and operations services for air, land and sea platforms.
Edic, which is expected to have a workforce of 10,000 by the end of this year, announced during Idex the merger of its two ammunition companies, Burkan Munitions Systems and Caracal to form Barij Munitions.
The UAE is bolstering its local defence industry through an offsets programme and by awarding them an increasing number of contracts to help diversify the economy away from its dependence on oil.
The UAE was the world’s third largest arms importer in the 2012-16 period. Arms procurements increased by 63 per cent from 2007-11 and comprised 4.6 per cent of the total arms imported globally during the 2012-16 period, according to a report released this week by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
■ Photo gallery: Idex 2017 in Abu Dhabi, day three
■ Photo gallery: Sights from the second day at Idex 2017
■ Photo gallery: Idex 2017 opens in Abu Dhabi
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