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The French defence industry also showcased their wares at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference. Farim Sahib / AFP
The French defence industry also showcased their wares at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference. Farim Sahib / AFP

Anti-missile shield, drones and armoured cars as UAE spends Dh5.2bn

Idex 2013: An anti-missile system to protect the nation's skies and two of the world's leading reconnaissance drones dominated a day of mega military deals in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

An anti-missile system to protect the nation's skies and two of the world's leading reconnaissance drones dominated a day of military deals in the capital yesterday.

As the UAE Armed Forces said it had reached agreements with defence companies worth Dh5.2 billion ($1.41bn), Lockheed Martin unveiled its Diamond Shield system, capable of linking all the UAE's missile arsenal under a single command and control, and intercepting incoming missiles from space to sea skimmers.

Later, Boeing signed a teaming agreement with Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments to operate its Integrator and ScanEagle intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.

The biggest deal signed by the military was with the American military vehicle company Oshkosh, to provide 750 M-ATV vehicles to the UAE Armed Forces in a contract worth Dh1.4bn.

International Golden Group, a defence supplier based in Abu Dhabi, won a Dh722 million contract to supply predator drones to the UAE through a partnership with the United States manufacturer General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, and KBP, a Russian defence company, will supply missiles worth Dh472.7m.

Locally, Tawazun won a deal worth Dh720m to supply laser-guided rockets to the UAE military through a partnership with Roketsan, a Turkish defence company.

At the Al Taif stand there was a full-size cutaway of a tank engine, and a Nimr armoured fighting vehicle with an automatic 20mm cannon; the first to illustrate how the maintenance repair and overhaul company trains technicians to maintain the 700 UAE military vehicles that pass through their sheds every year, and the latter to show their design, and upgrading skills.

Since the Mubadala subsidiary was spun off from the Emirati military in 2006, its workforce has grown to 966 employees across 15 sites, and it is on target for a 40 per cent Emiratisation rate among its technical staff by next year.

 

dblack@thenational.ae

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