ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates —  Turkish company Otokar won a deal worth $661 million to build Arma 8x8 amphibious armored infantry vehicles for the United Arab Emirates land forces.

Otokar signed an agreement establishing a joint venture to build the vehicles with UAE company Tawazun Holding at the Abu Dhabi International Defense Exhibition underway.

The vehicle -- under the joint venture -- has been dubbed "Rabdan" and will be built at the Tawazun Industrial Park manufacturing facilities in Abu Dhabi.

The vehicle will carry 11 passengers, designed to keep them safe from mines and missile threats, and will be able to easily traverse over rivers and ponds.

Things are also heating up for Otokar in Turkey as the government there officially launched a competition last month for the upgrade of a batch of 200 German- and US-made battle tanks in the army's inventory, a contract that could be worth roughly $500 million.

Five Turkish companies have submitted bids to include Otokar. Other companies are Aselsan, Roketsan, BMC and FNSS. Aselsan and Roketsan are state-controlled companies while the others are privately owned.

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.

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