New Delhi: Defence and security has emerged as another area of cooperation between India and UAE bilateral relations which has been steadily growing and deepening over the past years.
The Gulf nation has the most advanced defence industry among the others in the region and has been keen on working with Indian companies to jointly produce platforms in India under Make in India initiative.
Recently Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces had inaugurated EDGE which has repositioned the country as a global player and has huge investment in defence sector with focus on national security.
“With the creation of EDGE, bringing innovative technologies and services to market with greater speed and efficiency, the Indian defence industry will now be able to forge a partnership to explore many opportunities in the development of advanced defence products for the benefit of both countries,” said Faisal Al Bannai, CEO and Managing Director, EDGE.
More than 25 entities, including subsidiaries from the Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC), Emirates Advanced Investments Group (EAIG), Tawazun Holding and other independent organisations have been consolidated under EDGE.
Seeking to work closely with top designers to design and deploy solutions that can address the real-world challenges, the UAE company has announced that it will invest extensively across R&D. According to the company, its core mandate is to bring a change in the military industry which is usually disrupted by red tape.
With focus on Artificial Intelligence across all of its products, the company is expected to implement advanced technologies such as autonomous capabilities, cyber-physical systems, advanced propulsion systems, robotics and smart materials. And also the convergence of innovations from the commercial and the military industry.
Innovation is the area where EDGE will attract industry experts and talent from around the globe, who will help to build platforms in some core areas like Electronic Warfare and Intelligence, Missiles and Weapons, and Cyber Defence.
Meanwhile, UAE based Caracal company awaits decision by the Indian government on the close-quarter-battle carbines (CQB), worth $130 million. The company which has been declared L1 almost a year ago has fulfilled all the requirements laid down by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and have also submitted all the documents required.
The issue has been raised at various levels including at the recent meeting of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE and External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar.
The UAE side has also expressed interest in some Indian missile systems including the indigenous Akash surface-to-air missile and the BrahMos missile, a joint venture product of India and Russia. The officials from the Gulf country are interested in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) developed Astra 70-kilometre range air-to-air missile.