Idex 2017: NIMR on track to expanding range
Abu Dhabi-owned Emirates Defence Industries Company (Edic) expects its expanding range of NIMR Automotive armoured vehicles to garner interest from regional countries, a company official said on Sunday.
“Today there is a lot of interest in NIMR [from countries in the region],” Fahad Al Mheiri, director of business development at Edic, said at an interview at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex) in Abu Dhabi. “Interest is there depending on operations.”
Edic is a joint venture between Mubadala Development and Tawazun Holding that will be made up of 15 companies, including NIMR Automotive, by the end of the year once full integration is complete.
Edic on Sunday unveiled a rapid intervention vehicle (RIV) at Idex, where it has the biggest wing. The NIMR RIV is equipped with under-body blast protection and modular armour to protect its crew of four.
“It addresses a critical mission need for a high-speed, easily transportable vehicle that can quickly respond to tactical situations in remote sites,” said Fahad Saif Harhara, NIMR Automotive’s chief executive.
The RIV is designed “for elite units to successfully carry out covert operations without alerting enemy or insurgent forces”, the company said.
Mubadala, Tawazun Holding and Emirates Advanced Investment Group agreed in 2014 to combine their defence services businesses into Edic to 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. On Sunday, NIMR won a Dh2.42 billion deal to supply 400 8x8 armoured vehicles to the UAE Armed Forces.
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.
Edic also sells ammunition to regional countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain, through its Caracal International unit; and it makes metallic parts for Boeing and Airbus and a titanium military aircraft part for France’s Dassault Aviation.
Currently, Al Ain-based Strata, the manufacturing business of Mubadala Aerospace, makes composite parts for Boeing and Airbus.
But Edic’s focus is to meet the needs of the UAE armed forces, which will remain its biggest customer.
“Our aim is to ensure that we are providing the services required for the Armed Forces,” said Mr Al Mheiri. “We are looking at not just producing products, but ensuring we are able to service and have capability to take care of the assets and equipment.”
The company, which will employ 10,000 by the time the three companies are fully integrated by the end of the year, is not looking at forming joint ventures because it wants to develop local capabilities.
“Since we are covering now all land, sea and air platforms, we want to make sure that we build the capability locally,” said Mr Al Mheiri. “A joint venture has its limitation when you are talking about IP [intellectual property] when you are taking about sharing knowledge, transferring knowledge across different companies and assets.”
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Updated: February 19, 2017 04:00 AM