Leading European defence majors Thales Group and Atlas Elektroniks have announced plans to build a new underwater training centre in Abu Dhabi, in partnership with a major Emirati group Tawazun Economic Council.
Thales is a French multinational company that designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets, while Atlas Elektroniks is a naval/marine electronics and systems business based in Germany.
The new underwater centre in Abu Dhabi is being set up following an agreement with Tawazun Economic Programme, one of the key drivers of the Tawazun Economic Council.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of Idex 2019 by Matar Ali Al Romaithi, Chief Economic Development Officer at Tawazun Economic Council along with Bernard Roux, CEO, Thales Group UAE, and Michael Ozegowski, CEO, Atlas Elektroniks in the presence of Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education.
It was also attended by Staff Major General Pilot Ishaq Al Baloushi, Executive Director Defence Industry and Capability Development at Ministry of Defence; Tareq Abdulraheem Al Hosani, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Tawazun Economic Council; Pascale Sourisse, Senior Executive Vice President, Thales International Development; Philippe Duhamel, Senior Vice President Defense Mission Systems; Nicolas Simian, Strategy, Marketing and Offsets Director, Thales UAE; Steve Ward, Managing Director, Atlas Elektroniks GmbH; and Jamal Al Nauimi, Director of Marketing and Sales, Atlas Group.
Al Romaithi said that the project was aimed at launching an underwater training centre for anti-submarine counter attacks and the operation and management of mine-sweeping mines.
The centre will feature state-of-the-art technologies and will provide professional training on countering hostile submarines, as well as on operating marine radar detectors which use ultrasound for detecting underwater objects, he noted.
"Tawazun, once again, showcases its role as a key contributor to the empowerment and sustainable development of the defence and security sector in the UAE," he added.
Al Romaithi said the Emirati firm worked closely with its strategic partners to ensure a seamless process of technology transfer to the local market, in line with the country's strategic needs and requirements.
"This centre is considered the first of its kind in the region," he added.
He also highlighted the fact that the centre will meet the industry’s basic needs as well as enable the armed forces to keep abreast of the rapidly changing technological developments in both the military and naval operations.
Expressing her delight, Sourisse said Thales had always enjoyed a deep-rooted partnership with the UAE Navy. "The launch of the training centre stems from our commitment to contribute towards the development of sovereign capabilities and talent in the UAE," she noted.
Ozegowski said Atlas Elektroniks was always committed to supporting the operational needs of the UAE Navy.
"With this deal we are delighted to work with Tawazun Economic Council to launch a one-of-a-kind training centre. This agreement underscores our deep-rooted relationship and will contribute towards building a future generation of highly efficient officers."
Tawazun has recently announced a new economic programme framework that offers many investment options to strategic partners from global defence companies and suppliers in the defence and security sector.
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