Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 June 2019

Idex 2017: US military defence technology firm Harris lands UAE Armed Forces contract

Company to provide UAE military with operational systems to help to implement enhanced battlefield management solutions to maximise the efficiency of assets.

The US defence company Harris Corporation expects to boost sales in the Middle East as part of a drive to ramp up the share of international business beyond 22 per cent of the total, a company official said yesterday.

Harris, which sells technology to US defence companies, made more than US$200 million in revenue from the Middle East in its 2016 fiscal year that ended June 30.

About $1.6 billion, or 22 per cent of total revenue, came from its international business in the last fiscal year.

“International sales of our products and solutions are an important part of Harris’s overall growth strategy,” said Chris Tucker, the vice president of international business development, in an interview at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex) taking place in Abu Dhabi.

The 121-year old company also announced a $189m contract to provide an integrated battle management system to the UAE Armed Forces, its biggest deal to date in the UAE.

“The key thing for this contract is it is going to help the Emirates land forces transition from an analogue command and control system to a digitised battlefield management system,” said Mr Tucker.

The company wants to sell to the region a broad range of products, including tactical communications, night vision systems, electronic warfare, integrated command and control and radar.

Harris’s regional headquarters, in Abu Dhabi, opened in 2010.

Harris is competing on price with its products in light of the diminishing defence budgets because of lower oil prices.

“I think the defence and sec­urity market throughout the region has been impacted by the reduced revenues from the downturn in oil prices over the past few years, and that’s why we work closely with our customers to develop solutions that meet their overall requirements and meet their budgetary requirements,” said Mr Tucker.

“The things we are looking at right now are the challenges that many of our customers are facing and an example of some of their challenges is very diverse threats, a very dynamic environment in which defence and security forces have to operate and a growing need for integrated effective command and control ­solutions.”

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dalsaadi@thenational.ae

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Updated: February 20, 2017 04:00 AM

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