Tawazun takes armoured vehicle factory to Algeria

Tawazun Holding, the UAE’s industrial manufacturing and technology group, is to establish a factory in Algeria capable of producing up to 200 armoured vehicles a year for the Algerian military.

The deal, worth about $1.75 billion(Dh6.42bn) will see Nimr Automotive, one of Tawazun’s 12 subsidiaries, transfer the necessary technology for the manufacture of two versions of its UAE-designed 4×4 armoured vehicles.

Nimr will also undertake training and development for a 300-strong Algerian work force to operate the new facility.

The deal is a joint venture between Tawazun and Direction des Fabrications Militaires (DFM), a company under the Algerian Ministry of National Defense, and the aim is to establish a manufacturing base to meet a forecast requirement of up to 2,500 vehicles for the country’s defence forces over the next 15 years.

Tawazun also hopes the project, to operate under the name Nimr Algeria, will widen its entry into the African defence market.

“As the defense manufacturing industry becomes increasingly competitive globally, it is vital for manufacturers to seek out new ways of expanding their business,” said Saif Al Hajeri, the chief executive of Tawazun Holding.

“We’ve selected DFM as a partner due to its high standards that match our own, as well as Algeria being a gateway to reach other African markets which could promote new partnership opportunities for us in the near future.

“It is a credit to our nation’s development that defense products made in the UAE are becoming rapidly synonymous with innovative design and high quality. Being able to export home-grown technological know-how into another market within a short space of time is a big achievement for Nimr Automotive, and we are highly confident that this JV will complement the excellent reputation that the UAE-based operation is developing with defense product buyers and users in the region and beyond.”

Abu Dhabi-based Nimr already supplies its armoured vehicles to Lebanon, Libya and Tunisia. The UAE armed forces have taken delivery of some 500 of the Nimr 4×4 and it is understood several other Middle Eastern and North African countries have conducted military trials and are in negotiations to order vehicles. There has also been interest from Latin America, West Africa, and the Asian Sub-Continent.

“The agreement will see us provide the manufacturing licenses needed for the newly created company to be the main supplier of armored vehicles for the Algerian military, as well as generate the potential to develop products for customers across the African continent,” said Hamad Al Neyadi, the chairman of Nimr.

“The joint venture will work on final assembly on a number of vehicles and we anticipate that following the completion of the technical facility and personnel training, we will have a set up ready to fully produce 4×4 Nimr vehicles by the end of 2014.”

Nimr’s vehicles have a wide range of applications ranging from tactical missions in arid environments to urban warfare, infiltration missions, reconnaissance, border surveillance, support logistics and riot control. Nimr vehicles can be configured as weapons carriers, logistics vehicles, ambulances, or for mobile command and control. The vehicle has a maximum road range of 700 km and a top speed of 140 km/h.

“Working with Tawazun, we are confident that together we can build and train a work force which is capable of equipping our army and defense personnel with top-of-the-line armoured Nimr vehicles fit for the region’s harsh terrain,” said Major General Rachid Chouaki, the director of DFM.

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