The Al Jaber company is one of the United Arab Emirates' largest private employers and is on the acquisition path, buying companies and technologies that serve local markets - including North Africa - and can be sold even further afield.
On show at IDEX is the Gila armored personnel carrier (APC), It was designed by South Africa's Ivema company, but is going into production at Al Jaber's facilities in Abu Dhabi. It's been sold to various African companies, but - in a move that exemplifies the changing arms trade - has also been selected by Canada, with a contract under negotiation, a company official said here.
There ar a lot of mine-resistant vehicles here that their own mothers would have a hard time telling apart, but the Gila has some unusual features. Most of those are traceable to a desire to make the APC so that it's easy to repair after mine damage.
The Gila has no separate chassis. The armored monocoque hull accommodates the engine and transmission. Under the Gila's belly is a transaxle case which turns fore and aft prop-shafts, and the front and rear axles are bolted and pinned to attachments on the body. It also has no side doors.
UAE funding is making it possible to run production at higher rates than Ivema could manage on its own, and also to work on improvements and options like the integration of a RUAG Bighorn 120 mm mortar.