US defence contractor Oshkosh Corporation has won an AED1.4bn (US$380m) deal to provide the UAE with 750 armoured vehicles, it was announced on Monday.
Wisconsin-based Oshkosh will supply the Gulf state's armed forces with 750 mine-resistant M-ATV trucks. The vehicles, which are also used by the US and Polish militaries, were deployed in US-led conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The deal was announced at the IDEX show in Abu Dhabi and the M-ATV has a list price of about US$480,000 per vehicle.
"This vehicle is in very high demand," Major General John M Urias, executive VP of Oshkosh Corporation and president of Oshkosh Defence, said.
Urias told Arabian Business that there was growing interest across the GCC for the M-ATV, particularly from Saudi Arabia.
"We built 8,800 of them in a very short period of time for US forces and now we are on contract in the UAE for vehicles and very shortly there will be other announcements within the GCC region."
Urias also said that Oshkosh was interested in opening a manufacturing plant in the region to service Middle Eastern customers within the next five years, although he suggested this may only be on a temporary basis.
"That's part of the business case because we know that there a very strong interest to develop indigenous capability, engineering capability so that you don't have to buy outside, that you can build within," he said.
"I would say within next five years I think you will see significant growth in the internal manufacturing capacity of many of the GCC countries. We will work with them... we may lead the effort for a while and then we take a back seat [when] they are in the lead, and a little while after that we are gone."
Oshkosh, named after the city in Wisconsin in which it was founded, employs 12,300 people and recorded revenue of US$9.8bn in its most recent annual financial results.