Saudi becomes first nation to take Zephyr programme
Saudi Arabia has become the first overseas country to order and buy into Creation's Zephyr protected vehicle programme.
The deal, which establishes a partnership between Penman Group and ERAF Industries, part of Fahad International involves a significant element of technology transfer and will include the establishment of a new in-country operation which will develop and jointly manufacture the Creation Zephyr MRV family of vehicles for tri-service applications in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. ERAF Industries is Saudi Arabia’s leading armoured vehicle upgrade and remanufacturing specialist – and the development marks the inauguration of its expansion into full vehicle construction.
Initial stages will focus on the 4x4 MRV in a number of configurations, with the 6x6 variants to follow in 2012. Work has already commenced on the project and a pilot vehicle, which will incorporate a number of specific features and regional requirements, is scheduled to be delivered before the end of this year. Precise details of the contract and its value are not being disclosed.
Penman Group Managing Director, Bryan Findlay said, “When we acquired the business, design and intellectual property rights of Creation early in 2011, we recognised the Zephyr vehicle’s potential as a world market product, not least because of its modular design and thus suitability for manufacture and assembly in local markets. Many countries now wish to invest, develop and support their local economies and indigenous industries. The knowledge transfer element of this contract is indicative of Saudi Arabia’s ambition to strengthen its skills and manufacturing capability for the future – and we are very proud to be a partner in that process”.
Abdullah Al Ameel, Chairman of Fahad said, “The Zephyr is a fine example of the type of world class design engineering and technology which the United Kingdom has been able to provide for our country over many years. It fits well alongside our company’s established portfolio of defence products and of course, there is important added value to be gained for all of us through the associated knowledge transfer programme”.