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UAE’s new Rabdan IFV participates in Exercise ‘Native Fury’

23 March 2020
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The first images of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces' new Rabdan 8×8 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) participating in a military exercise were released by the country's WAM news agency on 18 March.

A Rabdan emerges from the canal at the Al-Hamra Combat Training Centre during Exercise 'Native Fury'. (WAM)A Rabdan emerges from the canal at the Al-Hamra Combat Training Centre during Exercise 'Native Fury'. (WAM)

A photograph and associated video showed the vehicle crossing the canal at the Al-Hamra Combat Training Centre on the coast of western Abu Dhabi where Exercise 'Native Fury' is being held with the US military.

The Rabdan is based on Otokar's Arma 8×8 and armed with the same turret the UAE Armed Forces' uses on its BMP-3 tracked IFVs. It appeared to have won the long-running contest to fill the UAE military's 8×8 IFV requirement in February 2017, when it was announced during the IDEX show held in Abu Dhabi that 400 had been ordered.

The order was placed with Al-Jasoor, a joint venture involving Otokar and the UAE's Tawazun Holdings, but Emirati armoured vehicle manufacturer Nimr told Jane's at the time that it would produce the vehicles. Al-Jasoor and Nimr are now both part of the UAE's new Edge defence industry conglomerate.

Two Rabdans featured in the live demonstration that the UAE Armed Forces put on at IDEX 2019, suggesting the type had entered service. Otokar said during the show that it had delivered the first batch of the 100 vehicles that were being produced at its plant in Sakarya ahead of production being transferred to the UAE.

Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) released a photograph on 8 February showing its CEO inspecting a Rabdan without a turret during a visit to the Nimr plant in Abu Dhabi.

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