The UAE on Sunday signed six deals worth more than Dh767 million with various international and local companies to help strengthen the country’s unmanned and aerospace defence sector.
The announcement was made at a press conference by Brigadier-General Rashid Mohammed Al Shamsi, Chairman of Higher Organising Committee of the second Unmanned System Exhibition (Umex 2016) and the pilot edition of the Simulation Conference and Exhibition 2016.
Quebec Simulation Systems won a deal to install internal training systems consisting of 20 shooting systems Dh9.107 million, said Al Shamsi.
Other major deals went to CAE for the sale of Dh404.8m simulation systems and the International Flight Academy to train pilots on Blackhawks aircraft worth Dh80.377m.
Infox Simulation signed a deal worth Dh160m whereas the local player Al Badi won Dh50m contract to train technicians and operators from Republic of Belarus on Volate tanks.
It was also announced that Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments (ADASI) won a Dh62.888m deal to supply spare parts for Sebar project.
Brigadier-General Al Shamsi said that the decision to separate Umex exhibition from Idex was made by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for the vital importance that the unmanned sector plays, especially in modern warfare. "All operations around the world now involve unmanned drones flying somewhere which gives support and enables officials to make better and more precise decisions," he said.
Al Shamsi added that Umex has been a very successful decision and size-wise grew 600 per cent since 2015, when it was still part of Idex. "We expect more growth for 2018 and we hope to attract even more companies in the sector which also include those that produce sensor equipment like radars, cameras, lasers and all those things required in the manufacturing of unmanned equipment," he said.
The chairman stressed the importance of unmanned for UAE’s vison saying that they will always be considering to get more local companies involved in growing and strengthening the sector. "This technology is very important to acquire, and to have the capability to do it yourself is a strategic goal we are trying to reach," he said.
"The UAE companies we are seeing like ADASI are part of Abu Dhabi s vision towards aerospace manufacturing. These companies are part of the leadership s direction to upgrade the level of manufacturing in the country and to become a hub for the industry in the region," he added.
Military commanders praise UAE for organising Umex 2016, MST
Top military commanders from Malaysia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar on Sunday praised the organisation of the Unmanned Systems Exhibition and Conference 2016 (Umex2016) and the Military Simulation and Training (MST) show in Abu Dhabi as another success for the UAE.
Chief of the Malaysian Defence Forces, General Tan Sri Zulkifeli bin Mohammed Zin, told WAM that the two shows constitute ideal platforms for manufacturers of unmanned systems, and training and simulation systems and operators and decision makers.
Kuwaiti Air Force Deputy Commander Group Cpt. Abdullah Al Foudari, who represents Chief of the General Staff of Kuwait Armed Forces, said he was proud to participate in the two events which he described as two professional meeting points and an opportunity for experts and decision makers from Gulf and other Arab states to network and consider state-of-the-art systems for military and civilian purposes.
He noted that by organising these shows, the UAE is offering a great service for the aviation, unmanned systems and simulation and training industries.
Colonel Ayyoub Abdulaziz Ahmed of the Bahrain Defence Force, said the two shows serve the Arab Nation and the Islamic Nation by providing an opportunity to learn about the latest technologies to enhance military industries in the region.
Qatari Chief of General Staff, Major General Ghanem bin Shaheen Al Ghanem, praised the organisation of the two events which he described as among the most important industry shows.
Running till March 8, at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Umex2016 features a dedicated area for military training and simulation systems.
Umex conference has brought together speakers from the international defence community to discuss future developments, opportunities and challenges across the industry.