MBDA has a joint missile engineering center fully operational in UAE, with the ambition of moving to the UAE as a fully-fledged company with maximum local contribution.
Explaining that the missile industry requires massive investments and determination, Patrice Hajjar stated “There are massive investments allocated by the leadership in UAE to bolster the missile industry, which inevitable in the missile industry since it requires a lot of effort and alot funding”.
Hajjar also explained that the projects carried out by MBDA in the UAE doesn’t involve taking already existing products to the UAE, rather by partnering and teaming up with the UAE from design to production with the goal of meeting the requirements of the UAE armed forces and also exporting. “So, what we want to do is to develop and produce products in the UAE and also export them from there. So, it isn’t a shy approach but rather building a full business structure from the beginning,” he said.
“Orchestrike is meant to answer for the needs for the next decade requirements in terms of engagement,” Hajjar said explaining that that goal behind Orchestrike is to create more effective connectivity between missiles “not for the fun of it”, but to enable missile systems to share information about the battlespace as they approach targets, coordinating their actions to overmatch adversaries. “It is complex to have connectivity, but it improves the mission, improves the efficiency and improves the probability of success of a mission,” he added.
ORCHESTRIKE or what MBDA also calls as collaborative combat effectors solution, can also be illustrated as Collaboration between each element of a pack of effectors/missiles delivering surface attack is key to overcoming enemy air defences, enhancing survivability of effectors and increasing efficiency on targets. Packs of collaborative effectors acting as one will constitute an essential part of the “Common Armament Layer” of future combat air systems.
Strategy and cooperation expansion
“Cooperation expanding isn’t a mix of various ingredients. It's not just an industry initiative, it is a political well as well. It's a matter of alignment of the bilateral wish to do something. And it's also a matter of vision and capability; existing capabilities,” Hajjar explained saying “You cannot create a missile industry out of the blue. It is something that you have to nurture over time. It's very demanding in terms of investments not only financial but human resources, education.”
Hajjar also gave the UAE as an example of a successful cooperative relationship saying “In UAE you have all these kinds of ingredients, and it's amazing to see, for instance, in our missiles engineering center, we have UAE engineers, some freshly graduated, some with some with some experience; very bright, very curious, very open minded, very motivated. And this is the kind of people we are looking for when we want to venture into ambitious projects.”