MBDA inaugurated an engineering center in UAE for missile development in cooperation with UAE’s defense industry enabler Tawazun Economic Council, the Vice President of Middle East Sales Development Department at MBDA, Patrice Hajjar, announced.
In an interview with defensehere.com, Hajjar stated that the center will facilitate for the design, development, production, and delivery of missiles to UAE besides increasing locality rate in produced products.
“So, we have Emirati engineers working together with French engineers, which have been expatriated here. And their task, their mission is the development and production of products, from their early stage,” Hajjar explained.
Hajjar further explained that MBDA has always been working in cooperation with UAE to jointly develop systems and weapons in line with the needs of the UAE armed forces.
“We have always been supplying them with the means and the equipment necessary to support their weapons ensuring the ability of the country to gain sovereignty and autonomy,” Hajjar stated.
“So, we are really a longstanding partner of the UAE armed forces. And of course, our strategy is really to deepen our presence because as you've seen, the mission of UAE is to really develop its industry, local defense industry and we are embracing this,” Hajjar added.
He also said: “we were awarded many contracts last year, especially around the Rafale Aircraft. So, all of what comes with the aircraft is mainly MBDA weapon systems”.
Hajjar further explained that MBDA is going to provide UAE’s Rafales’ with air-to-air missiles such as the Meteor and the new generation MICA missiles with the new engine.
He also added that the new MICA missile are the upgraded versions the one currently fitted on the Mirage 2000-9 belonging to the UAE armed forces. He also mentioned that the new missiles integrate cutting-edge seekers and propulsion systems which offer longer ranger and better sensitivity, underlining “Basically we tend to provide really up to date weapon systems to the UAE armed forces”.
Hajjar also note that UAE is a very important strategic partner of France and MBDA, which can be clearly seen through the procurement 80 Rafale fighter jets by UAE from France.
He also explained that the relationship between MBDA and UAE has always been special and different to many other countries, and it because it has always been a win-win. “We don’t only provide, but we also learn a lot from the experience of EDGE and its investment strategies,” Hajjar explained, adding “EDGE is also brilliant in the sense of their success in engaging a tradeoff between low cost and performance capability”.
MBDA is a European multinational developer and manufacturer of missiles. It was created in December 2001 after the merger of the main French, British and Italian missile systems companies. They were the missile businesses of Aérospatiale-Matra (merged into EADS, now called Airbus), BAE Systems and Leonardo. "MBDA" is an initialism of the names of said missile businesses: Matra, BAE Dynamics and Alenia. The company's headquarters are located in Le Plessis-Robinson, France.