UAE, France Bolster Defence Cooperation
As part of their joint commitment to build industrial capabilities and innovative solutions, Tawazun Economic Council "Tawazun", the UAE defence and security industry enabler and the Direction générale de l'armement, DGA, the French government defence procurement and technology agency, have set up a joint steering committee to drive cooperation in fields of research and development.
The partnership was signed on the sidelines of the 2019 Dubai Airshow at Tawazun’s Chalet by Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, Chief Executive Officer of Tawazun, and Lieutenant General Thierry Carlier, DGA Director of International Directorate, in the presence of delegates from both parties.
Following the signing, Al Hosani said, "The UAE and France enjoy close ties, which have only grown stronger in recent years with numerous commercial opportunities in key industrial sectors including trade, investments, renewable and nuclear energy, oil, defence, security, education and culture.'' "The establishment of the joint steering committee with DGA marks a new and important step in further enhancing bilateral relations, as we establish a framework for joint projects that will be announced in the very near future," he added.
DGA Director of International Directorate also commented saying, "As the UAE and France enjoy strong bilateral ties, the joint steering committee will further reinforce cooperation between the two nations in the defence industry, which is an essential pillar of our two countries strategic relationship. This cooperation with reaffirm DGA’s commitment to identifying new opportunities with our partners in Tawazun."
As part of these efforts, Tawazun signed an agreement with MBDA France, a leading European developer and manufacturer of missiles, to establish the region’s first missile engineering centre. Acting as a design authority for missile systems in the UAE, the centre will provide know-how in the development and engineering of weapon systems, the facility will be the first of its kind for MBDA France in the Middle East and North Africa.
This cooperation marks an important milestone for the UAE as it contributes to meet the needs of the UAE in the areas of research and development (R&D), as well as technology transfer in the field of smart missile systems.
Tawazun Economic Programme also signed an agreement with Dassault Aviation, a leading French aerospace company and manufacturer to establish a flight-testing facility in the UAE.
As the only regional centre to host these capabilities, it is expected that over 18 countries will benefit from its services bringing significant economic impact to the Emirate.
These projects will further build the UAE’s national capabilities in strategic sectors and will create an ecosystem that can be utilised by the local market, bringing value to the industry and the nation.
Earlier this year, Tawazun also penned agreements with French defence contractors Thales and Safran to establish centres of excellence for radars and optronics respectively. Representatives from MBDA, Dassault, Thales and Safran were all on hand to witness the signature of the agreement.
The agreement with Thales Emarat, 100 percent owned by Thales, will focus on centres of excellence for critical systems such as radar, radio communications and a variety of defence and digital aerospace technologies. Thales Emarat Technologies will be based on the development of local engineering capabilities and will foster local partnerships and cooperation with industrial stakeholders. The recently inaugurated company, EDGE, will be the first of these key partnerships.
Furthermore, the company will enable the localisation of specific maintenance and support operations closer to customers, thus improving response time and flexibility in customer care.
The signings - during the Dubai Airshow - are part of Tawazun’s commitment to the development of a sustainable defence and security industry by supporting economic diversification in the UAE, in line with the leadership’s directives.