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The purpose of this paper is the design of neural network-based adaptive sliding mode controller for uncertain unknown nonlinear systems. A special architecture adaptive neural network, with hyperbolic tangent activation functions, is used to emulate the equivalent and switching control terms of the classic sliding mode control (SMC). Lyapunov stability theory is used to guarantee a uniform ultimate boundedness property for the tracking error, as well as of all other signals in the closed loop. In addition to keeping the stability and robustness properties of the SMC, the neural network-based adaptive sliding mode controller exhibits perfect rejection of faults arising during the system operating. Simulation studies are used to illustrate and clarify the theoretical results.