MBDA France, a leading European developer and manufacturer of missiles, will set up its first regional missile engineering centre in the UAE, said Tawazun Economic Council, the country’s defence and security enabler.
The agreement will be signed on November 19, the third day of the Dubai Airshow running from November 17 to 21, reported Emirates news agency Wam.
Acting as a design authority for missile systems in the UAE, the centre will establish know-how in pre-development to development and engineering of weapon systems, the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa, marking an important milestone for the UAE as it strives to meet the needs of the UAE in the areas of research and development (R&D) in the field of smart missile systems.
Tawazun will also collaborate with Dassault Aviation, a leading French aerospace company and manufacturer, signing an agreement to establish a Flight Testing Centre (FTC) in the Abu Dhabi.
The FTC will contribute towards the development of technology, human capabilities and talent in the UAE. As Tawazun commits to promoting innovations to aid future growth and expansion in the UAE, this facility will play a pivotal role in laying the foundation for future programs of flight-testing in the region, to support integration and development for the defence sector.
As part of its commitment to drive long-term economic value and support local companies in the UAE, the Program also facilitated an agreement between Leonardo SPA, Italian multinational company specialising in aerospace, defence and security and Abu Dhabi Aviation Training Centre (ADATC).
Under the agreement, Abu Dhabi Aviation Training Centre will house both the AW169 and AW139 pilot training simulators. The simulators will offer timely, cost-effective and integrated training solutions within the UAE, eliminating the need for training abroad. As the first and only regional centre to host both these capabilities, over 18 countries will benefit from the use of this technology, bringing significant economic impact to the Emirate.
Under the Programme’s umbrella, an agreement was also made with EDIC Bayanat, a leader in the provision of mapping, to develop data fusion capabilities in the UAE, including new products and services in sensor data fusion technology for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capability in the UAE.
As part of Tawazun’s commitment and key role in supporting the armed forces, this project will provide the latest technological capabilities and intelligence in addition to being and an essential driver of human development in the UAE through the elevation of national capabilities, with Emiratis to be trained to develop such proficiencies, making EDIC Bayanat the first and only regional centre for data fusion in the UAE.
The agreement was signed by Mohamed Al Blooshi, chief executive officer at Bayanat and Kevin Raftery, Collins Aerospace VP for ISR and Space. Earlier this year, during the International Defence Exhibition and Conference 2019, Tawazun Economic Program signed agreements to establish wholly owned subsidiaries with French company Thales Group and Swedish company SAAB.
Several other projects were also signed including an underwater training centre featuring state-of-the-art simulators that provide professional training on anti-submarine warfare and the operation and management of naval minesweepers, respectively.
Agreements were also signed with Hensdolt Optronics and Atlas Telecom to establish a centre for maintenance of thermal cameras, Safran and International Golden Group (IGG) to develop a Centre of Excellence for Optronics and Norinco to develop a new land system also with IGG.
Matar Ali Al Romaithi, chief economic development officer at Tawazun Economic Council, said: "A key objective of the Programme is to identify gaps and support the ecosystem by promoting investments and projects across the defence and security sector. We anticipate robust capability growth from these agreements, which in turn, will greatly benefit our economy, military and industry.
"Working closely with our strategic partners, we will ensure a seamless process of knowledge transfer to the local market of the UAE, in line with our strategic needs and requirements. By supporting the build-up of a knowledgeable and technologically vibrant defence industry, we accelerate growth, bringing tangible value to the industry and the nation," Al Romaithi said.
The Tawazun Economic Programme, which recently announced its new policy in February of this year, aims to support in the economic diversification in the UAE. Designed to promote long-term partnerships to support and develop defence and security industries in UAE, the Program seeks to create new opportunities in various strategic sectors.