ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Leadership at the Abu Dhabi International Defense Exhibition announced — among a variety of deals made by the United Arab Emirates on the first day of the show — that NIMR Automotive would manufacture several hundred 8x8 armored vehicles for the country's armed forces.
The work will be performed at the company's new manufacturing facility in Ajban, Abu Dhabi — the region's leading facility for wheeled military vehicles.
The agreement was a part of 4.4 billion AED — roughly $1.2 billion — in total deals announced for a productive first day at IDEX on Sunday.
NIMR also showcased its newest JAIS 6x6 military vehicle at the exhibition as a means to demonstrate Abu Dhabi's "growing capabilities in military manufacturing," according to a company statement.
The new vehicle is intended to break into new markets in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Europe and Asia, NIMR CEO Dr. Fahad Saif Harhara said in the statement.
"It's the largest vehicle in our range, providing exceptional mobility and protection on the modern battlefield," he said. "Our vehicles utilize groundbreaking technology, helping us realize our ambition to become the leading military vehicle company in the MENA region."
The vehicle is designed to go up against the biggest threats posed in the Middle East: It's a highly mobile vehicle that offers crew protection against mines, improvised explosive devices and ballistic missiles "offering the essential balance between firepower, survivability, and mobility to address conventional and asymmetric operations," the company said.
Alongside the JAIS 6x6, NIMR also unveiled its Rapid Intervention Vehicle at IDEX, an answer to what the special operations community needs in irregular warfare, a 4x4 vehicle that can inject itself into the battlefield quickly and forcefully.
NIMR partnered with MIRA, an engineering company based in the UK to build the RIV.
The vehicle comes with under-body blast protection and modular applique armor packs for ballistic protection that doesn’t sacrifice mobility, the company details. It’s also small enough to be transported in a CH-47 helicopter or slung underneath.
NIMR’s AJBAN LRSOV — an open-top 4x4 reconnaissance vehicle unveiled at IDEX in 2015 — also meets similar mission requirements, where speed and mobility is crucial, and is now fielded to the UAE Armed Forces.
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.