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Abu Dhabi 23 June, 2019: UAE armed forces and defence industry representatives today attended the opening of a new facility at Tawazun Industrial Park (TIP) for the assembly of unmanned aerial and maritime target systems used in military training, test and evaluation in the UAE. The new venture, established by Houbara Defence and Security LLC, is a partnership between Middle East General Enterprises (MGE), and QinetiQ of the UK, a leading provider of scientific and defence solutions.

Guest of honour at the event was Major General Staff Pilot Ishaq Saleh Al Balushi, Head of the Executive Directorate of Industries and Development of Defence Capabilities at the UAE Ministry of Defence.

Saeed Ghanim, Chairman of Houbara, said: “This new facility is part of Houbara’s strategy to build local capacity in the defence sector. It focuses upon creating technology systems that will be used for training and skills development for the UAE military, reflecting the goals set out by our leadership in Vision 2021.”

Houbara, will combine proven expertise of QinetiQ to test, manufacture and distribute specialist unmanned targets, satisfying the increasing demand for operational training and mission rehearsal. The initial product range includes the Jet Banshee aerial target designed to simulate the threat of aircraft for air defence systems and the Hammerhead maritime target, an unmanned speedboat designed to simulate fast inshore attack craft in a multi-vehicle swarm.

Tim Allen, CEO of Houbara said: “We are delighted to open our new facility at TIP. It demonstrates Houbara’s commitment to customers and our collaborative approach through direct investment into the UAE’s defence industry. In addition to our locally-based resources, we offer unique access in the UAE to QinetiQ’s global resources of 6,000 dedicated professionals, providing technological and scientific expertise that helps our customers protect and optimise their defence and security capabilities.”