NIMR Automotive received an order from the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for more than 1,750 armoured vehicles.
Of the three contracts, the largest is for 1,500 JAIS 4×4 and 6×6 armoured vehicles. The JAIS is a re-designation of NIMR’s N35 mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle series.
NIMR procured the N35/JAIS from Denel Vehicle Systems in November 2015 in a U.S. $63 million deal which resulted in the complete technology-transfer of the Denel RG-35 and its manufacturing to the UAE.
The JAIS benefits from STANAG-4569 Level 4-standard protection from ballistic fire as well as mine and improvised explosive device (IED) blast protection of up to STANAG 4569 Level 4A and 4B. The JAIS can be armed with remote-controlled turrets (such as the EVPU Turra 30) and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM).
The second contract is for 150 HAFEET 630A artillery support vehicles in two configurations – Observation and Command and Control. The third contract is for 115 AJBAN 440A utility vehicles armed with ATGM. The JAIS, HAFEET and AJBAN will be delivered from 2018.
These will join 1,000 NIMR vehicles currently serving in the UAE’s armed forces.
NIMR Automotive’s CEO Dr. Fahad Harhara stated, “the UAE’s decision to expand its current fleet of NIMR-made vehicles is testament to the standards and increased capability [of] our products.”
The new vehicles will be manufactured at NIMR’s new production site, a 37,500m2 facility that NIMR says is “the largest vehicle manufacturing facility in the Middle East and North Africa.”
Besides supporting the UAE market, NIMR Automotive also signed a Strategic Collaboration Agreement with Czech supplier VOP CZ “for the marketing, distribution, production and after-sale support” of NIMR’s product line to the Visegrád Group, a consortium of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
NIMR and VOP CZ believe that the venture has the potential to spur the co-production of more than 1,000 vehicles, which would amount to over U.S. $500 million in value. Sales in the Visegrád Group could have NIMR “localize production of vehicles in Europe, at VOP’s plant in the Czech Republic.”
NIMR Automotive is a subsidiary of the Emirates Defence Industry Company (EDIC), the UAE’s principal defence solutions provider.
Notes & Comments:
These follow-on contracts demonstrate that NIMR benefits from a strong domestic market, providing the scale to help the emergent land systems provider to compete abroad. While the Visegrád Group states have their share of native armoured vehicle suppliers, NIMR’s commitment to engage with VOP CZ to the extent of utilizing the latter’s skilled labour pool will contribute to the company’s positioning. With NIMR collaborating VOP CZ to adapt its designs for cold weather environments, the EDIC subsidiary is evidently keen on carving market-share in the region.