The United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) military announced during the IDEX show in Abu Dhabi that it had ordered 400 8x8 vehicles from the local company Al-Jasoor, a joint venture between the Emirati company Heavy Vehicles industries (HVI) and the Turkish armoured vehicle manufacturer Otokar Land systems.I can't tell you how many e-mails and comments I've seen about this vehicle? What I can't figure out is why this is so thrilling to so many. It's simply a locally produced Arma 8x8 from Turkey's Otokar armored vehicle manufacturer.
HVI is a subsidiary of Tawazun Holdings, an Emirati industrial development organisation.
Tawazun said in a statement that "the decision to purchase the vehicles was made following a thorough commercial/technical evaluation by Tawazun, the vehicle underwent an array of successful extensive all-terrain tests in the UAE."
The Rabdan 8x8 vehicle that was displayed on the Tawazun stand at IDEX is a development of the Otokar Arma 8x8 fitted with the turret from a BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV).
The specifications sheet provided by Tawazun said it has a minimum gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 28,000 kg with growth potential to 30,000 kg, compared to Arma 8x8's GVW of 24,000 kg. It said an amphibious capability will be standard on the IFV and optional on other variants.
What should be news is that the UAE has such a mixed vehicle fleet and so many armored vehicles that they can't possibly use them all. For a small military force they're playing with fire following their current procurement strategy.
How can they effectively keep up a decent parts supply chain much less capable trainers with so many different vehicles? Even training to a decent standard would seem to be hobbled by having so many different vehicle types.
The news isn't that the UAE bought another 8x8. The news is that they're continuing the insanity of buying every shiny toy they can lay their hands on.