BAE Systems sets sights on partnerships in Arabian Gulf

BAE Systems, the multinational defence, security and aerospace company, is bullish on GCC countries and is seeking partnerships in the region, according to a top company official.

“I think generally across the Gulf there is opportunity for us,” Martin Bennett, the BAE managing director for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, said yesterday.

In the region, BAE Systems has been marketing land, aerospace and maritime defence products.

Mr Bennett said BAE Systems was looking to work with Emirates Defence Technology (EDT), which designed Enigma, the first 8×8 armoured vehicle in the UAE.

EDT is a privately held UAE defence contractor and arms manufacturer.

“EDT is developing the Enigma vehicle here in the UAE. We are in the process to partner with them to build a new variant of this new vehicle,” said Mr Bennett.

“We would see that to be a model that we would like to pursue. We would like to work with local companies to develop new products.”

He also voiced interest in working with Emirates Defence Industries Company (Edic) – the umbrella group for the UAE’s defence industry units.

“We are absolutely, 110 per cent delighted to work with these companies because they are very competent companies,” said Mr Bennett.

Last year, the UAE incorporated its defence industry entities under Edic to create “synergies and cost-effectiveness”. The subsidiaries of Mubadala Development, Tawazun Holding and Emirates Advanced Investments Group – including Al Taif Technical Services, Tawazun Dynamics and Global Aerospace Logistics – were incorporated under Edic.

“Generally we are delighted to form joint ventures with the Edic companies. We would actively encourage that to happen, but we currently would wait for some direction from the UAE government on what it wants to do,” said Mr Bennett.

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