Tawazun fund buys 50% of Russian Helicopters' VR Technologies business

The partners will invest at least €400 million in the development of the business, executive says

Dubai, United Arab Emirates- Russian Helicopter VRT 500 on display at the Dubai Airshow 2019 day 2 at Maktoum Airport.  Leslie Pableo for the National
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Abu Dhabi’s Tawazun Economic Council focused on growing the UAE’s defence industry, is taking a 50 per cent stake in drone maker VR Technologies.

The company, which is developing advanced helicopters such as the VRT500 and unmanned aerial vehicles, is currently wholly-owned by Russian Helicopters, but a deal to sell half of the shares to Tawazun is likely to complete in the first quarter of next year, Tawazun said. It is investing through its Tawazun Security & Development Fund.

"This agreement stems from the fund's commitment to support the UAE's strategic vision of investing in advanced industries and transferring relevant technologies," said chief executive Abdullah Al Jabri.

Tawazun was founded in 1992 to help develop a sustainable defence and security industry in the UAE. The company has helped create more than 90 companies and investment vehicles within 11 different sectors. This week, Tawazun said it plans to create four new centres in the UAE with leading defence companies covering flight testing, missile engineering, an aviation training centre and a data fusion centre covering technologies used in intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance. It also announced a Dh700 million programme to support SMEs in the sector last week,

Its purchase of a 50 per cent stake in VR Technologies will speed up the development of the company’s VRT300 and VRT500 models and “give impetus to new developments of advanced helicopter and UAV systems”, said Sergey Chemezon, chief executive of Rostec State Corporation, the parent company of Russian Helicopters.

“Our agreements also provide co-operation in promoting these products in the markets of the Middle East and GCC in particular. Both rotorcrafts have good prospects in the region, where solutions for the development of urban air mobility are becoming increasingly popular,” Mr Chemezon added.

"As equal partners, we plan to invest at least $400m (Dh1.47 billion) in the development of VR Technologies, which will help make the company's products competitive and in demand all over the world," said Andrey Boginsky, director general of Russian Helicopters Holding Company.