The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is strengthening its air defence systems with Rheinmetall Air Defence's multi-sensor unit, which signals greater integration of the country's defense industry.
The global security situation is putting pressure on nations around the world, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As part of its efforts to strengthen its defense capabilities, the UAE has turned to global industry collaboration, largely facilitated by its state-owned defense and security conglomerate, EDGE Group.
The EDGE Group has recently entered into a partnership with Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD), a leading manufacturer of air defence and anti-aircraft systems based in Switzerland. This collaboration involves HALCON, an EDGE entity that is a regional leader in the design and production of guided weapon systems.
The partnership between HALCON and RAD is aimed at developing and producing advanced air defence systems for the Middle Eastern and North African markets. The announcement of this partnership underscores EDGE's commitment to developing strategic alliances and collaborations to enhance its capabilities and strengthen its position as a leading defence technology provider.
A partnership between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and EDGE, the top defense company in the UAE, to explore potential collaboration in developing missile systems and unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). There is no mention of RAD or the Oerlikon Multi Sensor Unit in relation to this partnership.
In addition to the integration of the Skynex and C-RAM systems, the partnership between HALCON and RAD also involves the use of the MSU, a remote-controlled and rapidly deployable sensor unit. The MSU is equipped with a 4D active electronically scanned array search radar that provides a 360-degree coverage and is capable of automatically classifying detected targets.
It can also hand over generated tracks to the most suitable gun or missile launcher autonomously or with the push of a button. The MSU is expected to enhance the capabilities of the integrated air defence solution by providing advanced sensing capabilities and improved situational awareness.
Need to strengthen UAE air defenses :
The UAE has partnered with Rheinmetall Air Defence (RAD) and HALCON to provide the UAE with leading-edge air defence systems to fortify its national security against strikes from Iran-backed Yemeni insurgent group, the Houthis.
The partnership will see the Skynex air defence system from Oerlikon adapted to the C-RAM to counter hard-cased targets. The UAE’s total forecasted investment of $129.3bn over the period 2024-28 reflects the country’s plans to equip itself with advanced defence equipment to deter Iran from taking an aggressive posture.
Rise of modularity :
Modularity in weapon systems has indeed become an important aspect of defence industry integration, as it allows for greater flexibility and cost-effectiveness in the development and maintenance of equipment. As defence budgets become increasingly constrained, countries are looking for ways to maximize their investment in the latest technology and capabilities.
The UAE's focus on modernising its defence equipment is a reflection of this trend. While inflation and other economic factors may impact the country's overall spending, the UAE appears to be prioritizing investment in advanced equipment rather than cheaper alternatives that may be less effective in deterring potential threats.
By partnering with RAD and HALCON to integrate the Skynex air defence system, the UAE is taking a step toward enhancing its air defence capabilities to protect its vital infrastructure.
Indeed, the UAE's approach to developing its domestic defence capabilities through partnerships and joint ventures with foreign companies highlights the importance of modularity and flexibility in defence systems. By incorporating modular components and systems, countries can more easily adapt and integrate foreign technologies and equipment, ultimately increasing their overall defence capabilities.
Additionally, this approach can foster greater collaboration and innovation within the defence industry, leading to the development of more advanced and effective defence solutions.