Hamad Al Ameri, CEO, CARACAL to «ALJUNDI»: We aim to make the UAE a global centre for advanced manufacturing

CARACAL is a renowned global company in the field of small arms manufacturing‭. ‬With over fifteen years of experience‭, ‬it specializes in designing‭, ‬manufacturing‭, ‬and assembling high-precision firearms‭. ‬CARACAL is headquartered in Abu Dhabi and is part of the Missiles and Weapons sector within EDGE Group‭. ‬CARACAL has various products including pistols‭, ‬submachine guns‭, ‬assault rifles‭, ‬and sniper rifles in various calibres‭.‬

CARACAL employs state-of-the-art computer-controlled machines‭, ‬along with quality control devices and mould manufacturing techniques‭, ‬in its production processes to ensure the highest standards in its exceptional facilities‭. ‬To gain a better understanding‭ ‬of CARACAL’s latest developments and future projects‭, ‬Al-Jundi Journal interviewed Mr Hamad Salem Al Ameri‭, ‬the CEO of CARACAL and had the following dialogue with him‭:‬

Tell us about CARACAL and its fields of work in general‭, ‬and about the most prominent products that the company offers to its customers

CARACAL is a world-renowned small-arms manufacturer‭. ‬We design‭, ‬manufacture‭, ‬assemble and test high-performance products according to NATO and International Military Standards‭, ‬ranging from pistols to sniper rifles‭. ‬With over 15‭ ‬years of experience‭, ‬we have established ourselves as pioneers in building high-precision weapons‭. ‬Our mission-proven firearms combine accuracy and reliability for law enforcement‭, ‬security‭, ‬and military forces around the world‭. ‬Although we offer a wide range of exceptional products‭, ‬CARACAL EF‭, ‬CMP9‭, ‬CAR816‭ ‬and CSR338‭ ‬stand out as our most prominent firearms‭.‬

The CARACAL Enhanced F‭ (‬EF‭) ‬Pistol

The CARACAL Enhanced F‭ (‬EF‭) ‬pistol is chambered in 9x19mm and is a compact and reliable firearm‭, ‬known for its high-quality construction and performance‭. ‬The CARACAL EF was designed with a focus on accuracy‭, ‬safety and durability‭. ‬It features a lightweight‭ ‬polymer frame and the modern design‭, ‬coupled with the ergonomic grip‭, ‬ensures a comfortable and secure hold for the shooter‭. ‬Launched in 2015‭, ‬it is a relatively new weapon that has been extensively tested in the harshest conditions to meet recognized standards‭. ‬It carries a high-capacity 18-round 9mm magazine and retains the unique low bore axis found on previous CARACAL pistols‭ ‬that helps reduce muzzle rise‭, ‬enhancing control and follow-up shots‭.‬

The CAR 816

The CAR 816‭ ‬is a centre-fire tactical rifle operating on a short-stroke gas piston‭, ‬rotating bolt system‭. ‬As a tactical weapon‭, ‬it is designed for high-end use in law enforcement and military applications‭. ‬Chambered in 5.56x45mm‭, ‬the CAR 816‭ ‬is available in multiple barrel lengths and features full ambidextrous configurations‭.‬

The CSR 338

Chambered in 0.338‭ ‬Lapua Magnum‭, ‬the CSR 338‭ ‬is a modern and rugged bolt action precision sniper rifle‭. ‬Finding use in the most‭ ‬demanding environments‭, ‬the CSR 388‭ ‬has been designed with a sharp focus on accuracy‭, ‬reliability‭, ‬durability‭, ‬safety and operator convenience‭.‬

The CMP 9

The CMP 9‭ ‬is a modern and modular sub-machine gun‭ (‬SMG‭). ‬Chambered in 9x19mm‭, ‬it operates on an advanced blowback system with the bolt extending over the barrel for optimal weight distribution and weapon control‭. ‬Available in Standard and Short versions‭, ‬it features a rear ambidextrous charging handle and traditional assault rifle fire controls‭.‬

How do you assess the cooperation between your company and GCC countries‭, ‬particularly the United Arab Emirates‭?‬

CARACAL develops‭, ‬innovates and produces firearms that are critical to the defence and sovereignty of the UAE‭. ‬Outside the UAE‭, ‬we have established ties with various GCC countries‭, ‬where our products are in service with various armed forces and law enforcement agencies‭. ‬We are continually establishing new relationships and reinforcing existing partnerships‭. ‬Supplying GCC countries‭ ‬with products that are designed and produced to flawlessly operate in their operational environments is a key part of our product development roadmap‭.‬

What are CARACAL’s investments in the UAE and who do you primarily work with‭?‬

CARACAL is rooted in the UAE‭. ‬Founded in 2007‭, ‬we are the first firearms manufacturer in the GCC region‭, ‬designing‭, ‬engineering‭ ‬and manufacturing mission-proven firearms from combat pistols to anti-material sniper rifles‭, ‬here in the UAE‭. ‬We have strived to develop advanced R&D and manufacturing facilities at the Tawazun Industrial Park‭ (‬TIP‭). ‬At every phase of product development‭,‬‭ ‬we harness the latest technologies to ensure our products surpass the stringent international standards set out by the Commission Internationale Permanente Pour L’épreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives‭ (‬CIP‭) ‬and NATO‭. ‬Working closely with our customers‭, ‬both‭ ‬locally and globally‭, ‬we deliver firearms that are tailored for the modern soldier‭, ‬operational requirements and mission success‭.‬

What new products is CARACAL offering the UAE and Gulf region‭?‬

We are consistently adding to our expansive product portfolio‭. ‬Launched in 2021‭, ‬the CARACAL F Gen II is a highly versatile semi‭-‬automatic pistol‭. ‬Our R&D team conducted a rigorous development programme to deliver the most competitive pistol to the end user‭. ‬Chambered in 9x19mm‭, ‬the CARACAL F Gen II features a completely new integrated solid slide‭, ‬an enhanced trigger for an even smoother and crisper pull and an adapted MIL-SPEC Picatinny rail‭. ‬

The CARACAL LIGHT MACHINE GUN 556‭ (‬CLMG 556‭) ‬is a new‭, ‬belt-fed‭, ‬fully-automatic light machine gun‭, ‬chambered in 5.56x45mm‭. ‬It has several unique features‭, ‬including a quick interchangeable barrel‭, ‬an advanced long-stroke gas piston system‭, ‬and a lightweight design‭, ‬weighing only 7.8kg‭. ‬Developed with the end-user in mind‭, ‬the factors underpinning its design are modularity‭, ‬ergonomics‭, ‬weight‭, ‬accuracy‭, ‬and durability‭. ‬It comes standard with a five-position telescoping adjustable stock and three position adjustable cheekpiece‭. ‬Adding to the CLMG 556’s features is a fixed iron sight with range adjustment and a built-in bipod that has a three-position adjustable height‭.‬

What are your company’s future plans‭?‬

In line with EDGE’s overall objectives‭, ‬our roadmap is aimed at developing innovative firearm solutions‭, ‬playing our role in positioning the UAE as a leading global hub of advanced manufacturing and growing our sovereign capabilities for a more secure future‭.‬

At CARACAL‭, ‬our rapidly growing product portfolio reflects our ambition to develop the next generation of firearms‭. ‬From conception to production‭, ‬we work with speed‭, ‬agility‭, ‬and efficiency to ensure that our products remain at the cutting edge of the industry‭. ‬Our firearms now compete in the top tier of the firearms industry and are disrupting the status quo for quality and precision‭. ‬

Our global footprint now covers Europe and North America through our wholly owned subsidiaries Haenel‭, ‬Merkel and CARACAL USA‭, ‬South-East Asia through our licensing and manufacturing agreements‭, ‬and North Africa through our manufacturing facilities in Algeria‭, ‬reinforcing the UAE’s position as a leading global hub for advanced small arms solutions‭. ‬We are a partner to our customers‭, ‬and being open to business models that create value and suit the circumstances is a clear part of CARACAL’s future plans‭. ‬What we do today‭, ‬secures tomorrow‭. ‬Our commitment to the future is therefore two-fold‭; ‬to develop ingenious small arms that stand out internationally for the right reasons‭, ‬and to be a catalyst in the realisation of the UAE’s defence ambitions‭.‬

In terms of localization‭, ‬which is something the UAE has been urging companies to do‭, ‬what has CARACAL done in this regard‭?‬

CARACAL has always been produced locally‭. ‬Our entire line of firearms is manufactured in the UAE at our state-of-the-art facilities at TIP‭, ‬and we are a company that develops UAE Intellectual Property‭ (‬IP‭). ‬Additionally‭, ‬we provide an environment for the next generation of high-skilled UAE talent to thrive‭. ‬In line with‭ ‬‘Operation 300bn’‭, ‬an industrialisation strategy set out by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and mandated by UAE leadership‭, ‬CARACAL is directly contributing to the development of a local defence industrial base‭, ‬generating in-country value‭, ‬diversifying the economy‭, ‬and helping to position the UAE as a serious global defence player‭.‬

How would you evaluate your recent experience and participation in IDEX 2023‭, ‬and did it meet your expectations and the requirements of the defence sector in general‭?‬

IDEX 2023‭ ‬was a momentous event for CARACAL‭. ‬Over the course of the event‭, ‬we launched a new category of firearm‭ – ‬a light machine gun available as part of our small arms solutions offering‭, ‬signed a historic transfer of technology agreement that highlighted the international demand for UAE-based IP‭, ‬and signed an agreement to enhance local defence industry R&D capabilities‭.‬

The Gulf region’s market is currently witnessing intense competition‭. ‬What makes CARACAL products attractive to customers‭?‬

Our solutions are not only attractive but stand out in the regional and international markets‭. ‬CARACAL’s firearms flawlessly operate in the harshest environments‭, ‬are tailored for the modern soldier‭, ‬provide flexible ergonomics‭, ‬exceed international standards of quality‭, ‬and guarantee operational readiness with attentive aftersales support‭.‬

What are your plans for ADIHEX 2023‭, ‬and what’s new in your participation this year‭?‬

CARACAL’s appearance at ADIHEX will be focused on honouring our heritage and inspiring the future of the small arms industry‭. ‬Without giving away too much‭, ‬this will be done through a showcase of boutique firearms that artistically represent the UAE’s heritage‭. ‬Additionally‭, ‬we will have our full range of firearms on display‭, ‬including custom CARACAL pistols and hunting rifles from Merkel and partner‭, ‬LIWA Arms‭.‬●

‮»‬‭   ‬Interviewed by‬‮«‬‭ ‬‭«ALJUND

Al Jundi

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