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Land Platforms

IDEX 2017: Emirati SOV contest heats up

22 February 2017
The Nimr LRSOV on display at IDEX. Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

The United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) contest for a new special operations vehicle (SOV) became more complicated at the IDEX show in Abu Dhabi when Nimr Automotive unveiled its new Rapid Intervention Vehicle (RIV) to take on well-established contenders that include the Supacat HMT 400 Desert and the Polaris DAGOR.

Nimr has developed the RIV for the UAE Presidential Guard's requirement for a vehicle that can be deployed from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter. (IHS Markit/Patrick Allen)Nimr has developed the RIV for the UAE Presidential Guard's requirement for a vehicle that can be deployed from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter. (IHS Markit/Patrick Allen)

The requirement is for a vehicle that can fulfil a range of roles for several different units in the Presidential Guard. Key aspects of the requirement include the ability to fit inside an Emirati CH-47 Chinook helicopter and perform long-range missions.

Nimr appears to be pitching a two-vehicle solution to meet this requirement. It unveiled the SOV variant of its Ajban 4x4 vehicle at IDEX in 2015, but two years later this had been renamed the Long-Range SOV (LRSOV). It is listed as having a gross weight of 8,000 kg and a payload of 3,000 kg, but is too large to fit in a Chinook in a tactical scenario.

Nimr is consequently developing the Rapid Intervention Vehicle (RIV), which was formally unveiled at the current IDEX, but was previously seen in the UAE's National Day military parade in December 2016. The RIV is listed as having a gross weight of 4,000 kg with a payload of 1,500 kg.

Fahad Mohamed al-Absi, Nimr's commercial director, told Jane's that the two vehicles are designed for different roles. "The RIV is used for quick missions, airdrops, and can go inside a Chinook and aircraft like that. The SOV is for Rangers, for special operations forces that do 7- to 14-day missions at a time."

He added that the SOV has finished all the trials and Nimr is now "in discussions" with the Presidential Guard, while the RIV went through an initial round of trials at the end of last year and will go into the summer trials that will be held later this year.

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