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22 June 2024

Abu Dhabi sets up first ammunition factory

Abu Dhabi said on Saturday it has established the emirate’s first arms ammunition factory with the help of a major global weapons producer and its products will be supplied to the UAE armed forces. (SUPPLIED)

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By Staff

Abu Dhabi said on Saturday it has established the emirate’s first arms ammunition factory with the help of a major global weapons producer and its products will be supplied to the UAE armed forces.

Tawazun Holding, the investment arm of the Offset Program Bureau (OPB), said it had launched the first phase of the “state-of-the-art” strategic plant for production of small caliber ammunition.

The three-year-old company said it had signed an agreement with the General Headquarters of the UAE Armed Forces that guarantees future supply of small caliber ammunition from the new plant during the coming years.

“The plant was developed in partnership with a globally recognized leader in defense technology… the project’s first phase saw procurement of the production line and construction of the plant and associated facilities. The plant will start supplying ammunitions by 2011,” Tawazun said in a statement.

Based in Abu Dhabi, the plant will principally produce different sizes of small ammunition, including 9mm, 5.56mm and 7.62mm.

“Tawazun has started a training program aimed at developing UAE capabilities in the operation and management of the plant,” it said.

Tawazun did not identify its partners but the company reported in 2008 that it had teamed up with the UAE’s Al Jaber Trading Establishment, part of Al Jaber Group, to build the country first munitions factory in a joint venture with Rheinmetall Munitions Systems.

It said the factory would serve the needs of the armed forces in the UAE and other regional states.

A few months after it was created in 2007, Tawazun acquired international arms manufacturer Caracal. It then controlled its German subsidiary Merkel, one of the best-known hunting rifle and shotgun manufacturers in the world.

In a recent interview with Emirates 24|7, Saif Mohammed Al Hajeri, Chief Executive Officer of OPB and Tawazun, said the company would focus on non-oil industries, mainly technology and advanced products, with the aim of supporting economic diversification and creating jobs for UAE citizens.

"We have big plans and ideas… we aim to be a very substantial and economically powerful company. I am sure we can achieve this target."