Idex 2021: UAE Armed Forces announce $583m in defence deals on day four

Local and international companies won 24 contracts at the Middle East's biggest defence exhibition

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The UAE Armed Forces signed deals worth Dh2.14 billion ($583 million) on Wednesday, the fourth day of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference.

Local companies won 18 contracts worth Dh1.42bn of the 24 deals awarded by the Armed Forces, said Staff Brig Gen Mohammed Al Hassani, spokesman for Idex and the Naval Defence and Maritime Security Exhibition.

International companies won six contracts worth Dh720m.

The largest contract was a Dh485m deal awarded to UAE-based International Golden Group.

“This is the requirement of the UAE military and both international and national companies were awarded contracts,” Brig Gen Al Hassani said.

The value of contracts awarded over four days since the exhibition began was Dh20.56bn, about the same as 2019 levels.

“We are hopeful that we will pass the figure tomorrow,” Brig Gen Al Hassani said.

Other local companies that picked up sizeable contracts were Al Tuff International and MBDA UAE, which secured deals worth Dh136.6m each.

US-based Northstar Aviation also won a contract worth Dh224m.

The UAE Ministry of Defence and the Tawazun Economic Council signed an agreement to establish and organise research and development planning and execution on behalf of the defence and security sectors.

The ministry will handle defence and security policymaking while Tawazun will manage defence and security R&D programmes in the UAE.

“Based on our analysis of the existing ‘in-country’ capabilities, the R&D portfolio will include a range of short and long-term projects – from basic and applied research to prototypes and product development to achieve our national objectives," said Tawazun chief executive Tareq Al Hosani.

"The definition of the R&D projects will be aligned with the prioritised sectors in defence and security.”

The agreement is expected to ensure the development of national capacity to meet the operational requirements of the UAE Armed Forces, allowing for them to be evaluated against the country's defence and security goals and objectives.

Tawazun also signed an agreement with Al Fattan Holding Investment to support the UAE shipbuilding group’s plans to upgrade its three shipyards in Abu Dhabi and Fujairah and meet the operational needs of the UAE Navy and Air Force.

A joint committee will be formed by Tawazun and Al Fattan to oversee the expansion of the shipyard.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, appointed Tawazun to manage the contract and procurement process of the Armed Forces and Abu Dhabi Police.

Yahsat also signed agreements with two companies for the provision of satellite-enabled communications-on-the-move solutions for ground defence systems mounted on vehicles.

The UAE satellite operator's Yahsat Government Solutions signed the agreement with UAE military vehicle maker Nimr and L3Harris Technologies.

Al Jasoor, an armoured vehicle company that is part of the Edge group, launched the Rabdan 6x6 amphibious, multi-wheel armoured vehicle.

“Featuring high commonality with our signature 8x8 platform, the amphibious 6x6 drives down cost for our clients, meets modern warfare requirements and optimises value for all operational requirements,” said Al Jasoor chief executive Fahad Al Absi.

The Edge group also signed a contract with German software company SAP to help develop its digitisation programme.

“This is a major step in our digital transformation, which is foreseen to extremely revamp the way we work at Edge and drive efficiency and transparency at all levels across the group,” said Faisal Al Bannai, chief executive and managing director of Edge.

Abu Dhabi Ship Building, also part of Edge, teamed up with Italian company Novamarine to make right-hulled inflatable boats and market them in the GCC region. Novamarine will handle the marketing of vessels in Europe, ADSB said on Wednesday.

“Collaborating with ... companies such as Novamarine enables ADSB to anticipate and address evolving market demand,” said ADSB chief executive David Massey.

Right-hulled inflatable boats are used in various naval operations – from search and rescue to interception.