Caracal and ICOMM partner in first-ever UAE-India technology transfer for defence products

The close proximity of Caracal's location in the United Arab Emirates to the Indian market enables them to provide rapid after-sales service, a critical factor contributing to the success of Caracal products. This advantage, coupled with competitive pricing, was emphasized by Hamad Al Ameri, the CEO of Caracal, as reported by Huma Siddiqui in the Financial Express.
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Army Recognition tested the Caracal CAR 816 during BIDEC 2020 defense exhibition in Bahrain (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Caracal, headquartered in the UAE, is currently in discussions with various state security forces to offer a range of small arms, including the modern CMP 9 submachine gun, Caracal EF pistol, and sniper rifles. During an exclusive interview with Financial Express Online at the inaugural Milipol India event held last week, Hamad Al Ameri, Caracal's CEO, confirmed that their Indian partner, ICOMM, would take on the complete production of small arms. This production encompasses the versatile Caracal EF pistol, modern CMP 9 submachine gun, CAR 814, CAR 816, as well as the CAR 817 tactical rifles, CSR 308 bolt-action sniper rifles, the CSA 338 semi-automatic sniper rifle, CSR 338, CSR 50 anti-material sniper rifle, and CAR 817 DMR tactical sniper rifle.

ICOMM, the Indian company, has joined forces with Caracal from the UAE to facilitate local small arms manufacturing in India. This collaboration, initiated earlier this year during IDEX 2023 in Abu Dhabi, marks the first-ever technology transfer for defense articles from the UAE to India. Under the 'Make in India' and 'Atma Nirbhar Bharat' initiatives, ICOMM, a subsidiary of Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL), will manufacture Caracal's entire line of small arms for the Indian market.

ICOMM's facility in Hyderabad stands as one of the largest establishments in the industry, specializing in the design, development, and production of a wide array of defense products. Their expertise extends to missiles, sub-systems, communications equipment, electronic warfare (EW) systems, radars, electro-optics, composite materials, loitering munitions, shelters, drones, and counter-drone systems.

Caracal, a company with a strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region, has actively pursued strategic collaborations. In 2022, they formalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India's ICOMM, subsequently solidifying their partnership through a licensing agreement at IDEX 2023. Additionally, in 2021, Caracal entered into an Industrial Cooperation Agreement with Indonesia's PT Pindad to jointly manufacture the CAR 816 for the Indonesian market, with PT Pindad contributing barrels and other essential components.

The geographical proximity of Caracal's United Arab Emirates location to the Indian market ensures swift after-sales service, a vital factor in the success of Caracal's product offerings, as emphasized by Hamad Al Ameri, Caracal's CEO.

Regarding the status of India's Close Quarter Carbine & Snipers bid, Al Ameri confirmed that they have responded to the Request for Proposal in accordance with the 'Make in India' initiative, with a strong commitment to incorporating 65 percent indigenous content. He highlighted that their product portfolio includes assault rifles in both 5.56- and 7.62-mm calibers, as well as 9 mm submachine guns, which have witnessed significant demand growth, particularly among Homeland Security forces, sometimes even competing with the Army's requirements in certain countries.

Al Ameri further stated, "We are well ahead and have already identified local suppliers capable of producing 65 percent of the rifle components. This encompasses a wide range of parts, including steel and polymer components, as well as accessories such as sights, bayonets, and cleaning kits, all sourced locally."


Defense News October 2023