Edge secures $ 880 million UAE Armed Forces deal for its Halcon unit

Halcon, an end-to-end manufacturer of precision guided munitions, has secured a Dh3.2 billion ($ 880 million) contract with the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces for its line of precision guided munitions Thunder and Desert Sting.

The order received by Halcon, a unit of the United Arab Emirates defense conglomerate Edge, is one of the largest issued by the United Arab Emirates armed forces, the company said in a statement on Monday.

“This is an important contract on a global scale for this type of weapon system. It is with a great sense of responsibility to have been entrusted with this undertaking that we move forward with the certainty that the performance of our systems will fully justify the confidence of the United Arab Emirates armed forces in us ”, declared Saeed Al Mansoori, Managing Director of Halcon. .

The order comes a day after another Edge unit, GAL, an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service provider, secured a Dh11 billion contract with UAE Air Force and Air Defense (Afad), marking the biggest defense contract of the first day of the Dubai Airshow.

Multi-billion dollar military and civilian contracts are expected to be finalized at the Dubai Airshow this week. This year’s civil and military exhibition – a major exhibition of products ranging from widebody aircraft to military drones – is the first major global aerospace exhibition in person in two years since the aviation industry was affected by Covid-19, considered like the worst crisis in its history.

Halcon plans to manufacture the new Desert Sting warheads at Tawazun Industrial Park in Abu Dhabi, he said.

The Desert Sting is a lightweight, guided weapon with a custom designed warhead that works with a Halcon-designed Store Interface Unit (SIU) and can be deployed across multiple weapon racks on airplanes and unmanned aerial vehicles. .

The Thunder range consists of different variants of aerial ammunition (distinguished by the weight and size of the warheads) all based on the same technological bricks.

The contract confirms the “combat-proven capabilities of the Halcon guided weapon family, having met the stringent requirements demanded of the UAE armed forces,” the statement said.

Halcon has autonomous technological capabilities in areas such as guidance and control, navigation, aerodynamic design, weapon flight control computers, warheads and servo systems. The company is part of the Missiles and Weapons Cluster within Edge, which ranks among the top 25 military suppliers in the world.

Separately, Earth, another Edge unit, has signed a preliminary agreement with Lockheed Martin to upgrade the air capabilities of UAE pilots who fly Apache helicopters, which are used in advanced warfare by the military.

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Dubai Airshow 2021 – in pictures

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The potential partnership will lead to Earth Operation, Repair and Maintenance services for the Modernized Targeting and Designating Sensor Systems (M-TADS). M-TADS, known as “Eyes of the Apache”, enables targeting and piloting by day, night and in bad weather.

The two companies will explore innovative ways to localize critical aspects of sustainment of Apaches flown by Joint Aviation Command, they said.

The deal was signed by Omar Al Zaabi, senior vice president responsible for program acquisition at Edge, and John Clarke, vice president, capture excellence and international business development at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, at the show. Dubai Aeronautics.

Defense spending in the six-member GCC economic bloc is expected to reach pre-coronavirus levels by 2024, defense intelligence specialist Janes said in a report in February.

The strong economic rebound is expected to support sovereign defense spending as incomes rise, according to the report.

Update: November 15, 2021, 12:40 p.m.