Idex 2021: UAE Armed Forces announce $2bn in military deals on day two

A total of 11 contracts were awarded at the Middle East's biggest defence exhibition

The UAE Armed Forces awarded contracts worth Dh7.29 billion ($1.98bn) on Monday, the second day of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, with most going to international companies.

The Armed Forces signed 11 deals, including nine worth Dh6.98bn with international companies, said Staff Brig Gen Mohammed Al Hassani, official spokesman for Idex and the Naval Defence and Maritime Security Exhibition.

Local companies won contracts valued at Dh310 million.

“The amount is very good as per the requirement of the Armed Forces,” he said.

The international deals included a 3.74bn contract with Saab to buy G6000 early warning aircraft and a Dh2.61bn deal with Raytheon to buy Patriot missiles.

Among the local companies that won contracts were the International Golden Group and Ahmed Al Mazrouei Metal Industries, which were awarded deals worth Dh285m and Dh25m, respectively.

UAE-based small arms manufacturer Caracal released two new products yesterday: the second-generation Caracal F Gen II pistol and the CSA338 semiautomatic rifle.

“They represent the pinnacle of innovation, performance and reliability,” said chief executive Hamad Al Ameri.

The two weapons represent “significant technological and manufacturing advancements for supply to local and international markets”, Caracal said.

The small arms maker is part of the missiles and weapons cluster within Edge, the UAE’s defence conglomerate that is among the world's top 25 military suppliers.

Abu Dhabi’s Tawazun Economic Council and Thales Emarat Technologies announced plans for the Radar Centre of Excellence, which will develop, produce and maintain Thales' radars.

The centre will focus specifically on the development of next-generation radars and plans to export them once the centre is completed.

The tie-up will cultivate key technology solutions within the UAE by developing local skills and capabilities in areas such as radar system engineering, said Tawazun Economic Council chief executive Tareq Al Hosani.

“It is through partnerships such as this that we can continue to develop and build up our critical technical capabilities and our national competencies and skills, fortifying the sovereign capabilities of the UAE,” he said.


UAE royals tour Idex


The centre will boost the UAE's prospects by including local companies in the industrial supply chain, creating jobs for UAE nationals and supporting collaboration with research and development institutes.

The economic council also signed a co-operation agreement with Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Military Industries to explore the potential for joint projects and identify areas of collaboration in defence-related R&D.

“This agreement sets the course for a new era of co-operation between the two brotherly countries in all domains, particularly in R&D, technology transfer, foreign direct investment and joint defence industries,” said Jassem AlZaabi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Finance.

Halcon, the producer of precision-guided weapons and part of the Edge group, revealed its first anti-ship, surface-to-surface cruise missile at Idex yesterday.

The HAS-250 was designed and developed in the UAE and is capable of travelling at speeds of up to 988 kilometres per hour. It has a range of more than 250km.

During its terminal phase, it can fly towards its target at a sea-skimming altitude that is below five metres.

“The HAS-250 is a significant advancement in our quest to equip naval forces with the [best]-performing cruise missile system,” said Halcon chief executive Saeed Al Mansoori.

The weapon will assist in the active defence of the country's waterways and "build on Edge’s expanding reputation for being bold, agile, and disruptive”, he said.

South African defence manufacturer Paramount Group unveiled its long-range, precision-strike swarming unmanned aerial vehicle system, N-Raven, on the second day of the exhibition.

“We continue to research, design and innovate new technology that removes military personnel from the front lines and minimises collateral damage and exposure of friendly forces,” said Lee Connelly, chief executive of subsidiary Paramount Advanced Technologies.

Paramount Group ADGM, the group's UAE-based arm, said it opened a new office in Tel Aviv after the normalisation of ties between the UAE and Israel last September.

“Countries share similar challenges to security and have a common interest in stability,” said Clifford Dewell, senior vice president of the Paramount Group.

“We see similarly unique opportunities to address those challenges while bolstering those nations’ indigenous aerospace and defence industries alongside our partners, serving as a proponent of their economic growth.”

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, said defence industries are "a source of numerous innovative concepts that are being implemented and utilised" in other related sectors such as space, computer systems and pharmaceuticals.

"The significance of such events lies in their ability to contribute to the nation’s agenda of growing the industry and manufacturing sectors through the use of innovative Fourth Industrial Revolution- and artificial intelligence-based solutions," he said.

"As a result, this positions the UAE as a destination for innovation, attracting talented individuals with exceptional ideas and projects from across the globe, to develop advanced technologies and employ them in boosting economic growth and quality of life.”