The Emirati defence manufacturer NIMR Automotive, a subsidiary of the Emirates Defence Industries Company, will collaborate with its counterpart in the Czech Republic – VOP CZ – to make a concerted push for the European light armoured vehicles market.
In its official press release (via Defence Aerospace), NIMR stated that its partnership with VOP VZ will “enhance the company’s growth opportunities in the European market.” NIMR and VOP CZ will sign the formal agreement “in the coming months.”
In December 2016, the United Arab Emirates showcased NIMR’s line-up of light armoured vehicles, most notably the N35 mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle and AJBAN Special Operations Vehicle (SOV).
The NIMR N35 series is available in 4×4 and 6×6 configurations and possesses ballistic protection of up to STANAG 4569 Level 4A and mine protection of up to STANAG 4569 Level 4A and 4B. The NIMR N35 was previously manufactured in South Africa as the Denel Vehicle Systems RG35. In November 2015, NIMR signed a USD $63 million contract with Denel to transfer RG35 production to the UAE under NIMR.
The AJBAN SOV is a specialized variant of the AJBAN 4×4 light armoured utility vehicle, and is deployed as a general utility vehicle in the UAE armed forces. The SOV is marketed as a “long-range reconnaissance vehicle” capable of operating in “any environment for self-sustained missions lasting up to two weeks.”
Notes & Comments:
NIMR’s partnership with VOP CZ is aimed at accessing the European light armoured vehicle market, which could translate into significant activity for NIMR should these efforts materialize.
To its credit, NIMR has built a credible product catalogue covering several key areas, most notably, the MRAP space, which is still generating growth. However, NIMR’s AJBAN line is also promising in that it may garner attention from civil (e.g. law-enforcement) and armed forces users in Europe.
Where MRAPs may be sought to fulfill operational needs overseas, the AJBAN is usable for a wider set of requirements, including domestic or regional security needs.