April 2, 2012:
The UAE (United Arab Emirates) has ordered another 200 NIMR vehicles 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 a thousand NIMR vehicles a year ago and have about 500 in service. The new Libyan armed forces have ordered 107 while Lebanon, Tunisia, and Algeria are testing the vehicle.
NIMR is part of an effort by oil-rich Arab countries to develop their economies and not just be dependent on exporting oil and gas.