QinetiQ, the UK-based defense technology company and Middle East General Enterprises have announced entering a joint venture agreement during Dubai Airshow 2017. The partnership is to manufacture aerial and maritime targets to be used for test and evaluation, acceptance as well as training purposes.

As per agreement, QinetiQ will invest in infrastructure and training capability in the UAE to develop Emirati workforce capable of skilled manufacture of maritime, land and air targets, for instance the Banshee aerial target and the Hammerhead fast attack craft maritime target. The production is foreseen to be for use by the UAE armed forces and for export around the wider region.

“From the supply of targets through full “turn-key” services inclusive of launchers and ground control stations to specialist personnel, the newly formed venture will look to satisfy increasing local and regional demand to service training and rehearsal requirements,” is explained in the official statement by QinetiQ.

 “For us, this is a real statement of intent to invest in the UAE to transfer knowledge so that we can hire new recruits and develop local Emiratis to be able to do skilled jobs related to the assembly, test and supply of a target service to the armed forces here in the UAE,” said Ian Farley, Managing director international at QinetiQ. “It’s the way that we want to build business going forward, where we make investments in local markets in partnership with local companies that we feel provide us with enduring capability”.

“This is going to be an Emirati business, it’s primarily for this market and the technicians and engineers that are going to be building this product are local. However, this is not just a business for the UAE, nor is it just a regional export opportunity,” added Farley. “This is an integral part of our target business globally”.

“We are proud to partner with QinetiQ on the aerial and maritime targets Joint Venture, to deliver sustained local capability in support of our country,” said Saeed Ghanim, MGE Vice Chairman. “We particularly welcome this opportunity to transfer knowledge and new technologies into the UAE. We look forward to expanding this into other equipment and services in due course”.