Dec. 10, 2013 - By AWAD MUSTAFA - Defense News
DUBAI — The United Arab Emirates’ military in 2014 will complete the rollout of a streamlined joint logistics model and communications system to improve information sharing, procurement and training between its Navy, Army and Air Force.
The model was introduced in 2012 to transform procurement into a new joint approach to logistics to better support operations and training, said Matthew Hedges, an analyst with the Institute of Near East and Gulf Military Analysis.
According to the director of the program at UAE Armed Forces General Headquarters, Navy Col. Yahya Al Hammadi, until 2012 the three branches separately handled processes such as procurement, inventory and human resources.
“We’d like the commanders to have time to concentrate on strategy and policy planning,” Al Hammadi said last year as the system was being launched. “So we are involved in this plan for the armed forces to communicate effectively and quickly through an integrated IT and logistics system.”
The UAE understands that any operation at home or overseas is a joint effort and part of a larger coalition, Hedges said, and thus “the provision of logistics needs to be both joint and coordinated. It should also be highlighted that the UAE joins a larger list of nations who are subscribing to a joint logistics model.”
Al Hammadi said the system would be fully introduced across UAE forces by next year.
Public-private partnerships are a big part of this program. In November, the Armed Forces Gener-al Headquarters appointed the Abu Dhabi-based Advanced Military Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Center (AMMROC) to ensure the operational readiness of the forces’ fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.
The $5.8 billion two-year deal has been in the works for five years, AMMROC CEO Fahed Al Shamesi said.
“This includes the Air Force, Navy, special forces, presidential guards and the Army,” he said.
The agreement will enable the UAE Armed Forces to remain focused on aircraft operations while AMMROC provides maintenance and repair services, he added.
Another public-private partnership is with the Emirates Classification Society (TASNEEF), which classifies ships and offshore platforms for the UAE. TASNEEF’s primary mission is to promote the security and safety of life and property, and protect and pre-serve the natural maritime environment.
Rashid Al Hebsi, CEO of TASNEEF, said the joint logistics model would increase military readiness and reduce costs.
“This is part of the government’s vision to build capabilities in the country so we can sustain it ourselves and maintain technical competence,” Al Hebsi said.
The concept is new in the region, he said.
“Once the system is set up, the UAE believes its [Gulf Cooperation Council] neighbors will follow its lead,” Al Hebsi said.
The model includes the adoption of various centers of excellence (CoEs), Hedges said.
These “will manage relationships between the UAE General Headquarters and industry, both local and foreign,” he said. “The aim of the CoEs is to move away from numerous traditional transactional relationships to adopting more strategic partnerships.”
Contracts for industrial partners will be more sophisticated and will move to output- or outcome-based, i.e. payment based on performance.
Another key November agreement was a contract with Abu Dhabi-based Tawazun for the procurement, delivery and integration of laser-guided Talon missiles. The Talon missile systems are produced in the UAE under a joint development, production and marketing program between the UAE armed forces and Raytheon Missile Systems.
The contract states Tawazun will manage the integration of Talon systems into the UAE’s existing rocket systems, and deliver a training program on the Talon for the armed forces’ personnel. The integration program also will include UAE-built Nimr armored vehicles.
The key contractual components that the Armed Forces are looking to adopt or further investigate include continuous improvement through a transparent gain share mechanism and key performance indicators, Hedges said.
“They also want to define data and information that is required by either party to enable them to fulfill their contractual obligations, but also enhance working operation efficiency,” he said.