THE EVOLUTION OF NIMR’S TACTICAL GROUND VEHICLES
Inside this supplement: • NIMR’s strategy in the face of modern conflict and fourth generation warfare • Special Operations Force capabilities upgraded with LRSOV • Protecting assets with enhanced JAIS and HAFEET families of vehicles
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INTRODUCTION NIMR’s fleet of tactical ground vehicles which includes the JAIS 4x4 (left) has now been joined by the Rapid Intervention Vehicle (RIV)
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ith the global armoured vehicle market set to reach more than USD30 billion by 2021, UAEbased NIMR is positioning itself to satisfy ever-increasing requirements from armed forces seeking to undertake a wide range of operations including conventional and unconventional warfare; counterterrorism; peace stability operations; and humanitarian aid/disaster relief. Addressing the International Armoured Vehicles conference in London on 25th January 2017, NIMR’s Chief Operating Officer, Major General (Retd) Carey Wilks explained how regional instability and conflict across the Middle East and North Africa continued to be defined by Fourth Generation Warfare (FGW), asymmetric operations and the rise of Daesh. These factors, he urged, had resulted in the increased deployment of regional forces in expeditionary operations, forging the creation of “regional coalitions and military alliances”, such as Operation Inherent Resolve which has brought together more than 60 state actors to counter Daesh activities across northern Iraq and Syria. Satisfying current and future demands for tactical ground vehicles for such operations, NIMR continues to upgrade its existing inventory of platforms as well as extending vehicle families yet further with variants available across both domestic and international markets. According to NIMR’s Chief Operating Officer, Maj Gen (Ret’d) Carey Wilks, the Abu Dhabi-based company continues to design, develop and manufacture tactical ground and protected patrol vehicles to support rapidly evolving requirements from the contemporary operating environment (COE) which continues to feature a hybrid mix of low and high intensity conflict. This strategy sees NIMR continue to concentrate on key performance parameters including mobility; protection; lethality; modularity and multi-functionality; across an inventory of baseline platforms capable of being adapted to the full spectrum of operations relating to the COE. In particular, NIMR is focusing on unconventional warfare including counter-terrorism (CT); counterinsurgency (COIN); and other irregular warfare missions conducted by Special Operations Forces and other Special
Mission Units as part of homeland security missions and expeditionary campaigns. “Highly mobile vehicles are increasingly sought after by militaries as asymmetric warfare becomes more commonplace, increasing the need for mobility with users demanding greater levels of protection without sacrificing off-road mobility,” Wilks explained. Specifically, he outlined increased demand for 8x8 tactical vehicles globally as armed forces seek to rely upon wheeled vehicles as a more cost effective alternative to tracked solutions. “These 8x8 vehicles have several advantages over track vehicles including speed, range and cost,” Wilks urged. Elsewhere, he explained how customers are increasingly demanding multi-mission capabilities across a common platform variant, with associated electronic vehicle architectures integrated to facilitate easy change of use to support rapidly evolving mission requirements across the COE.
HIGHLY MOBILE VEHICLES ARE INCREASINGLY SOUGHT AFTER BY MILITARIES AS ASYMMETRIC WARFARE BECOMES MORE COMMONPLACE “Every user has different requirements depending on the mission, as well as specialist requirements for vehicles, but there is always a strong rationale to build vehicle fleets on common platforms to help improve interoperability and manage costs of maintenance, repair and spares,” Wilks highlighted while referring to a list of common features currently being witnessed across the majority of NIMR’s product line. Options include the integration of a Battlefield Management System (BMS); Remote Weapon Station (RWS); Smoke Grenade Launchers; net solutions to protect against rocket-propelled grenades; chemical and biological protection
technology; and fire suppression systems. In the area of protection, Wilks highlighted a return in increased demand for more conventional armour solutions as opposed to more commercial off-theshelf (COTS) technologies popular across the armed forces over the past decade of asymmetric campaigns. “As asymmetric warfare blurs the battlefield front line, many developing countries want military grade vehicles rather than up-armoured commercial vehicles. Military grade vehicles provide greater protection and have a much longer life than commercial ones,” he explained while referring to programmes such as the US Special Operations Command’s Non Standard Commercial Vehicle (NSCV) effort. According to Wilks, NIMR solutions provide the widest span of capabilities available to armed forces internationally, seeking to implement any type of mission set across the full spectrum of operations in the COE. Beyond Asia Pacific and Middle East, Wilks highlighted eastern Europe as one growth areas where there remains “pressure to increase military spending to two per cent of GDP, as per NATO guidelines”, he explained. “At the same time, many nations in this region are seeking to replace aging Soviet vehicles,” he added. “In 2017, NIMR will be meeting key decision makers from the MoDs and the Armed Forces across West, Central and Eastern Europe. We are making our vehicles available to key prospective customers for free trial and evaluation. Subsequently, NIMR is seeking ongoing strategic agreements with developed and developing nations for the localisation of assembly, fabrication and supply chains, following similar agreements made with the likes of Algeria. “NIMR is actively engaging with various stakeholders to increase the industrialisation of suppliers into the GCC and there are opportunities to set up industrial capabilities in Abu Dhabi through Tawazun,” Wilks explained. “NIMR has a policy of double sourcing all our major components, and this ensures ample opportunity for new suppliers. R&D plays a major part in NIMR, researching system and equipment innovation is the Advertising supplement | NIMR | 3
reason why NIMR vehicles remain unique, powerful and protection.” In December 2016, NIMR announced two of its most successful vehicle designs had achieved full entry into service with the UAE Armed Forces. Vehicles include the mineprotected, multi-purpose JAIS infantry fighting vehicle in both 4x4 and 6x6 configurations, as well as the AJBAN-class Long Range Special Operations Vehicle (LRSOV), variants of which were displayed at the UAE National Day military parade on 5th December. As NIMR’s CEO, Dr Fahad Saif Harhara, explained: “We are honoured to support the UAE Armed Forces with our worldclass military vehicles, which will protect the lives of our soldiers on the battlefield,” providing an “integral element of NIMR’s mission is to educate and empower the next generation of UAE nationals so that they can contribute to the country’s growing industrial sector”. The news follows an announcement made on 15th June 2016 by NIMR proclaiming the manufacture of its 1,000th vehicle out of its production facility at the Tawazun Industrial Park in Ajban. Having produced its first ISV Command vehicle in 2014, the factory has since manufactured a total of 16 vehicle types designed to supply customers across the armed forces and law enforcement communities with manufacturing rates rising from two vehicles a month to more than 80.
“With the completion of the 1,000th vehicle, NIMR today achieved an important milestone in UAE’s history. We have established a modern production system that delivers consistent quality and high volumes,” Dr Harhara concluded. At the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) on 20th February 2017, NIMR Automotive and VOP CZ signed a Strategic Collaboration Agreement allowing for the production and distribution of NIMR armoured vehicles to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. According to Dr Fahad, the partnership will enable NIMR’s growth across the European market, in line with projected increases in defence spending to support urgent requirements across the COE. “This includes modernising existing military vehicle fleets to address today’s
WE ARE HONOURED TO SUPPORT THE UAE ARMED FORCES WITH OUR WORLD-CLASS MILITARY VEHICLES, WHICH WILL PROTECT THE LIVES OF OUR SOLDIERS ON THE BATTLEFIELD
complex threat environment,” he explained while describing how armoured vehicles will be ‘winterised’ to for European cold weather environments. NIMR’s AJBAN 440A was presented to the Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) in February 2017 during an industry day in Vyškov. “The intention is to showcase the joint capability to the Czech Armed Forces, particularly modern, light armoured vehicles with industry leading specifications, which can be used as a platform for chemical, reconnaissance, logistics, medical and other versions, thereby providing a common platform for multiple operational needs with a common logistic support base and lower lifecycle costs,” NIMR officials added. The partnership aims to manufacture more than 1,000 vehicles over the next three to five years, worth more than USD500m. “Through this partnership, NIMR will also have an opportunity to localise production of vehicles in Europe, at VOP’s plant in the Czech Republic,” Dr Fahad stated. The partnership used the International Defence and Security Technology Fair (IDET) in Brno, Czech Republic on 31st May 2017 to unveil the first NIMR/ VOP collaborations – A European configured AJBAN 440A and Rapid Intervention Vehicle (RIV). “The unveiling of the newly configured AJBAN 440A comes at a time when countries across Central and Eastern Europe are undertaking the most significant defence modernisation programmes of the past two decades, including the replacement of ageing, legacy platforms with proven military vehicle solutions,” NIMR sources urged. “The RIV is a further example of NIMR’s collaboration within Europe having been engineered by Horiba Mira in the United Kingdom and jointly developed with NIMR. The future to growth is through these strategic partnerships and testament to the maturity of NIMR’s platforms,” Dr Fahad concluded. NIMR and VOP have teamed up to jointly manufacture and distribute vehicles including the Rapid Intervention Vehicle (RIV) for the Czech Republic and European market
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NIMR’s AJBAN 4x4 LRSOV was declared as “in service” with the UAE Special Operations Command in December 2016
SPECIAL FORCES – LRSOV VEHICLES
Upgraded solutions for NIMR’s SOF options
pecial Operations Forces (SOF) continue to be relied upon heavily in the COE to conduct both conventional and unconventional operations, particularly those delivered across a complex and congested operating environment on the ground. Responding to these high levels of demand from the international SOF community, NIMR has extended its current footprint in this area with enhancements to its current LRSOV to include an upgraded variant. Furthermore, the company is seeking to extend its interests yet further in the SOF tactical ground vehicle market although further details remain undisclosed. Demand for LRSOV remains strong across the international SOF community with the likes of the US, Australian and UAE Special Operations Commands amongst others in the market place, continuing to consider a variety of platforms providing operators with extended reach, enhanced firepower and mobility as well as reachback to tactical operations centres via integrated C4ISTAR missions suites. According to NIMR officials, typical SOF missions comprise the utility of “speed and mobility as the critical advantage, enabling a crew of four to access remote sites at high speed, both on and off road, and with armaments up to 12.7mm in calibre”.
NIMR continues to further develop its LRSOV product line with the company having adapted a series of lessons learned from an evaluation programme with UAE Special Operations Command in the desert environment over the course of 2016. The LRSOV was designed as a 4x4 long range reconnaissance vehicle, providing Special Forces teams with the ability to project far beyond more conventional ranges and operate for up to two weeks at a time without resupply. The vehicle also includes a modified storage solution with the ability to carry four ruck sacks externally down the side of the vehicle; as well as the ability to carry a total of 8 water/fuel jerry cans. The LRSOV also includes a pair of aluminium sand ladders and the ability to carry 23 boxes of .50cal ammunition and 23 boxes of 7.62mm ammunition. Finally, the LRSOV has been fitted with a spare wheel housed at the rear of the vehicle with additional stowage space. In regards to armaments, the LRSOV now features spare single and double swing arm weapon mounts which can be attached to the front and sides of the vehicle, as well as a weapons mount on the top of the platform for the integration of a .50-cal heavy machine gun. Driver and commander positions are protected with a split windscreen manufactured out of armoured glass while
a removable canvas top can be added for protection of crew and equipment from extreme environments. The LRSOV also features improved door ingress and egress apertures as well as an enhanced steering wheel, wiper system, updated dashboard display with air conditioning system and electrical gauges. Aluminium wheel rims further reduce weight while maintaining central tyre inflation system. The LRSOV retains the same operating capacity, based around a 300HP, six cylinder diesel engine which can be swapped with a 360HP variant dependent upon customer preference. The vehicle has a maximum speed of 110kph and maximum operating range of 700km. It can be underslung from can be underslung from CH-47 Chinook helicopters and carried internally in C-130 Hercules transport aircraft for tactical insertion into areas of operation for the execution of surveillance/reconnaissance and direct action tasks. Additional options include mission specific C4ISTAR suites and add-on ballistic protection systems. NIMR has expanded its special operations fleet with the introduction of the Rapid Intervention Vehicle (RIV), unveiled at IDEX 2017 in Abu Dhabi. The 4x4 RIV has been designed as a lighter weight option to the LRSOV, providing special operations teams with speed and agility across multiple terrain types and environments. Featuring underbody blast protection and scalable and modular applique armour kits, the RIV is capable of carrying a crew of four operators as well as being operated as an Internally Transportable Vehicle (ITV) for ‘Fly and Drive’ operations in the cargo hold of transport aircraft including CH-47 Chinooks and C-130 Hercules. “It addresses a critical mission need for a high-speed, easily transportable vehicle that can quickly respond to tactical situations in remote sites,’’ Dr Fahad explained while highlighting how the market continued to witness ongoing trends regarding irregular warfare demanded specialised vehicles with multi-mission capabilities. Advertising supplement | NIMR | 5
JAIS IMPROVEMENTS/HAFEET 6X6 AMBULANCE
Extended Family: NIMR enhances HAFEET and JAIS product lines
IMR has unveiled another variant in its HAFEET 6x6 family of vehicles, further enhancing the capabilities of the platform which has been designed for multi-purpose missions across the full operating environment. The 6x6 HAFEET Ambulance will join the legacy family of the 620 Logistics and Utility Vehicle; 640A Protected Patrol and Fire Support variants; and APC platform, all of which are based upon a common chassis with gross vehicle weight around 13,000kg. Development of the HAFEET Ambulance follows increased demand from the armed forces and law enforcement communities requiring the ability to safely reach, treat and extract casualties across
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battlefield environments, particularly relevant to Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) where troops operate in congested, contested and confined spaces. The ability of a ballistic-protected and dedicated combat medicine vehicle reduces the need to extract casualties from areas of operation in more offensive-role vehicles before being cross-decked onto ambulance or other support vehicles which can save time and therefore lives on the battlefield. Such utility was witnessed during coalition operations to recapture the northern Iraqi City of Mosul where force elements from the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF), mounted on MRAP (mine resistant ambush protected) vehicles, were
The JAIS-4 entered series production in 2016 and was first displayed at the National Day parade on 5th December with the UAE Armed Forces regularly ambushed by Daesh as they entered the built-up areas of the city on 1st November 2016. The HAFEET Ambulance retains the same standard operating parameters of the other members of the vehicle family with the capacity to carry up to 5,000kg payloads across maximum operating ranges of 650km at a cruising speed of 100kph. Variants including the APC, for example, have the capacity to carry a crew of 12 soldiers.
The Ambulance variant comprises a blast and ballistic protected armoured vehicle, capable of being fitted with specialist combat battlefield trauma equipment for casualty evacuation missions across the battlefield. “Accommodating a driver, commander and medic, the ambulance is able to transport up to two stretcher-borne patients as well as two walking wounded, ensuring that casualties can be quickly evacuated from hostile environments while ensuring protection to the attending medics,” NIMR explained. The vehicle can be upgraded with a communications suite as well as roof-mounted remote weapon station for protection. Measuring 7000mm in length, the HAFEET Ambulance is 2815mm wide with a height of 2700mm. With a ground clearance of 435mm, the ambulance is capable of carrying a 1,750kg payload at a cruising range of 700kg when travelling at 100kph. The ambulance has the capacity to carry a maximum of 8 personnel and is powered by a 360HP diesel engine with 210L fuel tank. The vehicle includes an electrical power management system and self recovery winch as well as CTIS; protected fuel tank and engine; air conditioning system; run flat tyres; with options for BMS and fire suppression system. Meanwhile, NIMR continues to extend its capability across the JAIS family of armoured vehicles which have been designed as a series of next-generation technology, capable of providing a “crossover capability” between tactical mobility of armoured fighting vehicles and MRAP levels of protection, with high payload capacity and internal volume. According to NIMR, JAIS 4x4 (JAIS-4) and 6x6 (JAIS-6) variants provide optimised levels of firepower, protection and mobility for “unpredictable, asymmetric operations, particularly the ‘3-Block War’ scenario where combat, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations are expected in close proximity”. The 4x4 variant entered series production in 2016 with the UAE Armed Forces parading variants for the first time at its annual parade on 5th December 2016. Vehicles were equipped with Dynamit Noble FeWaS RWS.
Additionally, 6x6 variants will commence series production in 2017, NIMR officials explained while highlighting ongoing efforts to achieve 85 per cent commonality across all platform variants in order to achieve a simplified support network requiring minimal spares. Based on a larger version of the JAIS-4, the JAIS-6 features similar ballistic and blast protection solutions and features extended payload space for the additional carriage of crew, equipment, weapon systems and C4ISTAR technology. The vehicle is available in variants ranging from Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) and Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC); through to Battlefield Ambulance; Command and Control; as well as Recovery and Engineering platforms. With a gross vehicle weight of 24,000kg, the JAIS-6 retains the capacity to carry up to 7,300kg in payload with a maximum operating range of 700km and ability to carry up to 12 soldiers including crew. Additional developments to the JAIS-6 have seen the integration of the vehicle power pack onto the side panel of the vehicle for “enhanced utilisation of volume behind the frontline battle” bonnet of the vehicle which has been designed to deflect oncoming
threats with its “battle vehicle nose” form factor. Also, the JAIS-6 now features what NIMR terms a “Semi-Knock Down” capability for its monocoque hull, power control unit, running gear and power pack solutions, meaning it can be rapidly repaired and re-roled for operations following rapid equipment replacement practices in the first and second lines of the logistical support chain. The JAIS-6’s V-shaped hull has been designed and tested up to NATO STANAG 4569 with a capability to survive “overmatched” events by isolating crew members from power plant technology, fuel, batteries and drive lines.
NIMR’s ability to manufacture such a range of tactical ground vehicles indigenously has placed the UAE Armed Forces at the ‘tip of the spear’ in regards to Middle East actors partnering with the international armed forces community. However, developments in SOF vehicles in particular clearly illustrate growing interoperability with international partner forces while maintaining an independent capability less reliant on foreign military sale agreements, which remain prevalent elsewhere in the region. The HAFEET 6x6 family of vehicles has been extended to include a Battlefield Ambulance variant
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