Abu Dhabi-based NIMR Automotive has entered agreements with companies in Thailand and Malaysia to support sales of the company’s military vehicles to the two Southeast Asian countries, the company confirmed to Jane’s on 7 November.
Speaking to Jane’s at the Defence & Security 2017 show in Bangkok, Miles Chambers, NIMR’s international business development manager, said the company has identified opportunities in the two countries for its Ajban 440A light tactical patrol vehicle and Ajban LRSOV (long-range special operations vehicle).
In supporting sales bids, he said, NIMR has recently entered agreements with Thai firm FICO Technology and Engineering (FTECH) and Malaysian company DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies (Deftech). FTECH is a defence subsidiary of the Thai-based FICO group conglomerate, while Deftech is Malaysia’s principal military vehicle manufacturer.
Chambers said that NIMR and its Thai partner FTECH are preparing to provide the Ajban 440A and Ajban LRSOV to the Royal Thai Army (RTA) for trials. These evaluations are expected to be concluded in the first quarter of 2018 after which the company hopes the programme will progress towards contract stage.
Chambers added that while the scope of the RTA requirement is not yet concluded, the arrangement with FTECH will enable localised support and maintenance of the military vehicles if selected to meet RTA requirements. Should the scope of the contract be sufficiently large, opportunities for localised assembly and production are also possible, he said.
NIMR’s partnership with Deftech is supported by an existing memorandum of understanding but the two companies will strengthen their alliance with a formal strategic partnership agreement expected to be signed in early 2018, said Chambers. Under the agreement, Deftech will support NIMR through the marketing and sales of NIMR vehicles in Malaysia as well as provide maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO).
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