United Arab Emirates armoured vehicle manufacturer NIMR (which means Tiger in Arabic) is completing the final touches to and is launching the Mark 2 versions of its increasingly popular Ajban 4×4 and Hafeet 6×6 armoured patrol vehicles.
Abri Du Plessis, chief executive officer, told Armada International that Nimr has been striving to deliver 90 percent commonality between the Mark 2 versions of both vehicles. The Ajban weights around 10-11 tons and is classed as a light armoured patrol vehicle while the Hafeet is larger and heavier at between 17-18 tons, each depending on the configuration. Both Mark 2 vehicles will feature a new electric architecture, have increased axel capability and come with ABS brakes, which were not available in the Mark 1 vehicles. Series production is expected to begin in late October with product deliveries beginning in Q1 2023 for the Ajban and six to nine months later for the Hafeet.
NIMR is currently producing around 500-600 of its armoured vehicles per year but is capable of scaling up its production lines and increasing shifts to raise that figure up to nearly 1,800 vehicles per year if there was demand. The UAE’s Armed Forces are the main customer but Du Plessis declared that he was “very optimistic for the success of the Mark 2 vehicles, as we know that the price point is good.” He sees sales opportunities In Eastern Europe, North Africa and South-East Asia.
The company holds the intellectual property (IP) ownership on all of its vehicle designs, and through after sales services can offer full cover for the lifecycle of each vehicle sold.
The company has its own on-site test track where every vehicle is put through a series of road, rough and slope challenges, before being taken out around an 80 kilometre course that will test it across all driving conditions including the desert.
Du Plessis also confirmed that the company’s new Jais 4×4 combat vehicle would be produced under a manufacturing license by Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), as signed at the World Defence Show in Saudi Arabia in February this year.
Du Plessis also hinted that NIMR was hoping to unveil a new lightweight vehicle for Special Forces at the forthcoming Abu Dhabi International Defence Exhibition & Conference – IDEX 23 – in February 2023.
by Andrew Drwiega