Idex 2017: Thales set to sign deal with UAE Armed Forces this week
Thales is poised to seal a contract with the UAE Armed Forces for intelligence support services, said a senior official yesterday at the French defence company.
“The [Arabian Gulf] countries have understood the diversified types of threat and it’s about protection of its territories, citizens and goods,” said Pascale Sourisse, the senior executive vice president for international development at Thales, which is a major player in aerospace and information technology.
This year “we see a lot of pressure on customers’ budgets”, she said. UAE Armed Forces spending is expected to recover this year after registering a two-year slowdown.
The country’s defence budget is expected to be US$19.76 billion this year, according to Jane’s Defence Budgets, up from an estimated $18.66bn last year and $18.16bn in 2015. The UAE does not publish its defence budget.
Saudi Arabia’s and Oman’s military spending, however, is likely to decrease. Thales is one of the largest weapons manufacturers in Europe, along with Leonardo, Airbus and Safran.
During the first six months of last year, Thales orders dropped 13 per cent year-on-year to €5.4 billion (Dh21.07bn) from €6.2bn. One of the three major orders it received during that period was the manufacture of a military satellite for a Middle Eastern client boosting its sales in the region to €804 million, up 24.3 per cent from €647m.
The company’s orders from the Middle East, however, dropped by 55 per cent during the first half of last year compared to a year earlier to €755m, down from €1.68bn.
At Idex 2015, it clinched a deal from Abu Dhabi Ship Building to provide maintenance services for its naval ships. That included maintenance of naval ships of other Arabian Gulf countries.
Thales has previously provided ticketing, supervision systems and telecommunications support to Dubai Metro.
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Updated: February 20, 2017 04:00 AM