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IDEX 2017: UAE selects Rabdan 8x8 IFV

24 February 2017
The Rabdan was displayed fitted with a BMP-3 turret on the Tawazun stand at IDEX. Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

The United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) military announced during the IDEX show in Abu Dhabi that it had ordered 400 8x8 vehicles from the local company Al-Jasoor, a joint venture between the Emirati company Heavy Vehicles industries (HVI) and the Turkish armoured vehicle manufacturer Otokar Land systems.

HVI is a subsidiary of Tawazun Holdings, an Emirati industrial development organisation.

Tawazun said in a statement that "the decision to purchase the vehicles was made following a thorough commercial/technical evaluation by Tawazun, the vehicle underwent an array of successful extensive all-terrain tests in the UAE."

The Rabdan 8x8 vehicle that was displayed on the Tawazun stand at IDEX is a development of the Otokar Arma 8x8 fitted with the turret from a BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV).

The specifications sheet provided by Tawazun said it has a minimum gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 28,000 kg with growth potential to 30,000 kg, compared to Arma 8x8's GVW of 24,000 kg. It said an amphibious capability will be standard on the IFV and optional on other variants.

The Tawazun statement said the order was estimated to be worth over AED2 billlion (USD540 million). The UAE military's daily contract announcements at the show included one worth AED2.43 billion (USD656 million) for Tawazun to supply 8x8 vehicles.

Otokar released a statement saying the deal was worth USD661 million and confirmed that it was establishing a company with Tawazun in the UAE called Al-Jasoor to build vehicles. It quoted CEO Ali Koc as saying Al-Jasoor would be able to build vehicles for other countries in the region in the future.

The Tawazun statement said the vehicles will be produced at the "existing most modern automotive manufacturing facilities in the Tawazun Industrial Park in Abu Dhabi.

A representative of Nimr Automotive, the UAE's largest manufacturer of armoured vehicles, told Jane's that his company would build the vehicles.

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