March 8, 2013: The UAE (United Arab Emirates) has ordered another 800 NIMR military trucks for its armed forces. The NIMR is produced by a UAE company with an assembly plant in Jordan. The NIMR is a hummer-like vehicle designed to cope with the high heat and abundant sand and dust found in the Middle East. The basic 4x4 NIMR weighs 4.4 tons, can carry 1.5 tons (or up to eight people), and be equipped with a remote control 12.7mm machine-gun turret. Top speed is 140 kilometers an hour on roads. This version costs about $82,000 each. There is a larger 6x6 version for carrying cargo. There is also an anti-aircraft version armed with four Mistral missiles ready-to-fire and four more as reloads. An anti-tank version comes equipped with four Milan ATGM (anti-tank guided missiles) ready to fire and four more as reloads. All NIMRs are equipped to take a variety of armor kits (providing different degrees of protection against bullets and explosions).
NIMR development began in the late 1990s and production began in 2005. NIMR was designed with the help of Russian automotive company GAZ, which also helped set up the manufacturing operation and supplies some of the components. The UAE armed forces bought 1,200 NIMR vehicles over the last two years and most are in service. The new Libyan armed forces, as well as Lebanon, Tunisia, and Algeria, have ordered or are evaluating the vehicle.
The UAE also ordered 15,000 of the new CAR 816 assault rifle from a UAE company. This is another M-16 clone and has all the latest features and accessories.
NIMR and CAR 816 are part of an effort by oil-rich Arab countries to develop their economies and not just be dependent on exporting oil and gas. This is difficult because most Arab countries, especially the oil-rich Gulf states, don’t have much industrial infrastructure or a population with the motivation or skills to create one.