UAE - Nexter, the leading French land defence company, has signed an agreement with Tawazun Economic Council to construct a world-class centre for the testing and qualification of munitions, weapons systems and vehicles at Tawazun Industrial Park in Abu Dhabi.

Through this collaborative endeavour, Nexter said it hopes to fulfil a Tawazun Economic Programme obligation while enhancing national capabilities.

The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the two-day "Make it in the Emirates" Forum, organised in Abu Dhabi by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT).

The project will help the UAE become a hub for advanced and highly qualified defence and security businesses, as well as build a strong presence in global markets, said Dominique Morisset, Nexter’s Regional Director in Abu Dhabi, after signing the MoU with Faiz Saleh Al Nahdi, Managing Director and CEO of Tawazun Industrial Park in the presence of Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology; Tareq Abdulraheem Al Hosani, the CEO of Tawazun and a number of senior officials.

Morisset said the project was part of the company's commitments due to its participation in the Tawazun Economic Programme.

It reflects the depth of Tawazun and Nexter’s strong partnership, as well as the company's desire to continue supporting the defence and security sectors, he added.

Al Nahdi said the MoU comes as part of Tawazun Industrial Park’s commitment to enabling the UAE's defence and security industry and is in keeping with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology's "Operation 300bn" strategy.

The industrial park is an important resource for the defence and security industries, to create the Testing and Qualification facility in Abu Dhabi, he stated.

"TIP Testing and Qualification Centre, in collaboration with Nexter as its technical partner, will give the country a sovereign capability that is unique in the region, offering complete certifications in accordance with a variety of international standards," he added.

Al Nahdi said the centre will equip the UAE with the ability to conduct Service Life Surveillance on a local level, overcoming any logistical hurdles, increasing exports and promoting the country as a centre of excellence in both R&D and manufacturing in the defence and security industries.

It would initially serve TIP's strategic partners, including the Ministry of Defence, the UAE Armed Forces, the Tawazun Acquisition Management Unit, and other industrial companies, he added.

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