At Dubai Airshow 2017, MBDA presented SmartGlider (photo), a new family of air launched guided weapons, for the first time outside Europe.
At Dubai Airshow 2023, MBDA announced that its Missile Engineering Center in Abu Dhabi is working on SmartGlider. The locally produced missiles will then be sold to Europe and internationally. This represents a major milestone for the UAE in its journey in developing its defense sector.
Established in Abu Dhabi, the Missile Engineering Center was officially inaugurated on 6 June 2023, in the presence of His Excellency Tareq Al Hosani, Secretary General of Tawazun Council, Son Excellence M. Nicolas Niemtchinow, Ambassador of France to the UAE, and Mr. Eric Béranger, Chief Executive Officer of MBDA.
The aim of the Missile Engineering Center is to strengthen the long-term partnership between the UAE and MBDA and to establish a bedrock for joint development of missile systems.
This cooperation has the ultimate objective of offering missile systems at the right level of performance while leveraging and reinforcing the sovereign capabilities of the UAE defense industry through significant local content.
The Missile Engineering Center in the UAE is the first of its kind for MBDA outside Europe; it is operational with a joint team of engineers from Tawazun Technology Innovation and MBDA working on the next generation of the Smart Weapons family.
H.E. Tareq Al Hosani, Secretary General of Tawazun Council: “I am delighted to witness the official inauguration of the Missile Engineering Center in the UAE, which marks a significant milestone in our partnership with MBDA. This center represents our commitment to enabling the UAE's defense industry. The Missile Engineering Center is a testament to the successful collaboration between Tawazun Council and MBDA, and it symbolizes our shared vision for long-term cooperation and mutual growth in the region.”
“We at Tawazun Council aim to develop advanced missile systems that meet our country's specific requirements while also promoting local content and knowledge transfer,” H.E. Al Hosani added.
Eric Béranger, Chief Executive Officer of MBDA, said: “This inauguration is a major landmark for us at MBDA and an illustration of the importance of our local presence and cooperation with our partner Tawazun Council. MBDA and its teams are extremely proud to see the new Missile Engineering Center operational and already working on the development of the next generation of smart weapons.”
“This unique cooperation is the very symbol of what we aim to achieve with our partner Tawazun Council in the UAE, projecting ourselves in the long term to make our collaboration a win-win and a symbol of our involvement in the region,” Béranger added.
MBDA is a unique multi-national European group, a world-leader in the field of complex weapon systems, playing a key role in keeping nations safe. Created in the spirit of international co-operation, MBDA and its more than 14,000 employees work together to support the national sovereignty of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, and other allied countries worldwide.
As an accelerator for innovation, MBDA is the only European group capable of designing and manufacturing complex weapons to meet the full range of current and future operational requirements of the three armed forces (land, sea and air).
MBDA is owned by Airbus (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%) and Leonardo (25%).