Dubai: UAE’s defense and aerospace firms like EDGE and Mubadala’s Strata will be “more than capable” to grow their presence on a global scale, said Patrice Caine, CEO of Thales.
The French company, which provides services to the aerospace, defense, transportation and security industries, partnered with EDGE in 2019 through its local entity.
“As these leading companies continue to strengthen their presence in the defense space through innovating new technologies, securing key partnerships and funding, they will be more than capable to grow their presence on a global scale,” said Caine. “We are therefore exploring development of new technologies together.”
He further added that the local firms are focused on bringing innovative technologies to the market by working collaboratively with other market leaders and investing in national talent.
Caine spoke ahead of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), which is being held in Abu Dhabi from February 21-25.
The exhibitions will showcase the latest technologies and innovation in the global defence sector, support the growth of the UAE’s defence industry, and forge new relationships between major international companies.
UAE airlines to lead
“As situation normalizes and travel restrictions are eased, the UAE airlines definitely seek to lead in the region,” said Caine. “We see that the UAE has been an early adopter of contactless technologies, biometrics and facial recognition technologies.”
“The pandemic continues to challenge airlines and the travel industry around the world, and in response, these sectors have quickly found ways to create new ways of operating through high technology and digital transformation,” he added.
Defence and aerospace entities have always been at the forefront of technology adoption. Even the internet – used by billions around the world – began as a prototype funded by the US Department of Defense.
“Connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and quantum technology are vital to the development of our societies,” said Caine. “However, the solutions in use today for civil applications are not appropriate for deployed forces.”
“They require unlimited bandwidth that armed forces do not have in the field - the armed forces need sovereign tools for these constrained environments,” he added.
During IDEX 2019, Thales partnered with Tawazun Economic Council to establish Thales Emarat Technologies (TET). The local company was set up to support UAE’s strategic vision of increasing industrial capabilities and developing a nation that is at the forefront of innovation, has strong human capital and is self-reliant.