Business | General

Lockheed waiting to hear on contract for UAE advanced command and control system

To sell its Diamond Shield, an integrated air and ground missile defence system

  • By Deena Kamel Yousef Staff Reporter
  • Published: 18:39 February 18, 2013
  • Gulf News

Abu Dhabi:

Lockheed Martin said it is waiting to hear “very shortly” from the UAE, who selected the company as a preferred bidder, about a contract for an advanced command and control system.

“We were downselected as one contractor going to the final negotiations in July,” said Cliff Spier, Lockheed Martin Vice President and Missile East Executive at the Information Systems and Global Solutions division.

“The UAE is now evaluating the offer,” he said following a company press conference on the sidelines of Idex in its second day.

The selection will allow Lockheed Martin to sell its Diamond Shield, an integrated air and ground missile defence system that it showcased during Idex.

The system offers the potential for defence co-operation between the Gulf countries, Spier said.

Already there is “quite a bit of interest” from the GCC in the Diamond Shield and its cooperative defence capabilities, he said.

“I expect each of the major Gulf countries, certainly Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Saudi and Bahrain, would have an interest in it because threats have changed significantly over the past years, so there’s a need to leverage assets and upgrade them,” he said.

Emerging threats

Civil security threats are an emerging focus area for defence and security companies who are continuously developing the technology to combat them, a senior official from Lockheed Martin said.

Threats from “new realms” are bringing down governments’ abilities to provide citizen services, inducing power grid failures or threatening desalination plants or disabling banking systems, which threatens the happiness and prosperity of citizens, Nabil Azar, director of international programmes and business development at Lockheed, told Gulf News.

The information systems and global solutions division of the company contributes to 25 per cent of business and is the fastest growing segment as non-defence systems become more critical for governments and companies, he said.

The company is offering integrated systems that specialise in public safety and situation awareness for law enforcement entities and government agencies.

Cyber security issues are also a major concern for Gulf countries as they are internationally, he said.

GCC countries need to take measures to be more proactive rather than reactive on how to protect infrastructures from cyber attacks, he noted.

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