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7 septembre 2015 1 07 /09 /septembre /2015 16:30
SDBR Interview with Luc Vigneron, CEO of the Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC)


08/09/2015 by Alain Establier - SDBR N°133


Recently Alain Establier met with Mr. Luc Vigneron *, Chief Exective Officer of the Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC) to discuss the rationale and future of the recently formed company, based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The interview was possible thanks to the courtesy of emirates authorities. Below is a transcript of their conversation:


SDBR: Is EDIC a financial institution, an OEM or something else?

Luc Vigneron (LV): Following a law issued by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the President of the UAE, Ruler of Abu Dhabi and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, EDIC was formed as an integrated defence manufacturing and services platform by its principal shareholders Mubadala Development Company and Tawazun Holding. It is a strategic asset of the UAE Government, and its mandate is to help keep the Armed Forces of the UAE at a peak state of readiness while also competing for business across the region. However, it is of equal importance to mention the national defence industry landscape, which set the conditions for a transformation to occur at this time. Over the last two decades, the UAE has built a robust and successful indigenous defence industry. Each company under EDIC has played an important role in achieving this.

As a result, both time and conditions were right to combine the country’s defence industries to position them for the next phase of growth. In fact, the UAE joins many other emerging economies that have followed a similar path, successfully consolidating their defence industry assets and becoming regional and global players. As a new national defence industry champion, EDIC is positioned to do the same.


SDBR: What’s your mission at EDIC?

LV: EDIC aims to unlock synergies across the industry, and create value through the strategic alignment of our capabilities. We will be the leading integrated defence industries platform for the UAE, and we aspire to be recognised globally as the region’s premier partner for manufacturing, services, and technology development. Furthermore, EDIC will deliver cutting-edge products and services and provide world-class facilities to better serve the Armed Forces of the UAE while working to transfer technical know-how to UAE Nationals. The UAE has established a strong and globally respected national defence industry over the last two decades. EDIC is proud to carry on this tradition. By working closely with our stakeholders and partners, we will build a new national defence champion over the next decade. Specifically, we are:

1.  Strengthening our strategic alignment to the needs of the UAE Armed Forces, and enhancing collaboration among our companies through shared services to reap economies of scale

2.  Balancing our relationships with OEMs, with a focus on increasing the transfer of technology and know-how

3.  Strengthening Emirati leadership in the defence industry and building world-class national capabilities

4.  Providing dynamic career opportunities to UAE Nationals in a high-skilled industry, with a focus on engineering and project management, and the technology sector in general


SDBR: What is the stage of EDIC evolution?

LV: We are working through the legal process of transferring ownership of each of the 16 companies to EDIC. At the same time, we are exploring synergies with a view to strengthening the industry, building national capabilities and increasing our capacity. When this transformation is complete, EDIC will be a substantial industrial services player and one of the largest such companies in the Arabian Gulf region, with 10,000 personnel employed in manufacturing and services across air, land and sea platforms. 


SDBR: It seems that the goal is to build a champion…A champion for what to do? In which specialities?

LV: EDIC companies operate in manufacturing and assembly; maintenance, repair and overhaul; autonomous systems; training; communications; and technology development. This new national defence industry champion will benefit three key stakeholders – our country, our customers and our companies.


SDBR: What is the contribution from Mubadala Development Company and Tawazun Holding?

LV: Both companies serve as EDIC’s principal shareholders.


SDBR: Do you have other plans for external growth? In which areas?

LV: Our focus now is on achieving a successful national defence industry transformation and building a national defence champion. As part of this process, we will work to promote innovation, technology development, state-of-the-art manufacturing and human capital development, specifically growing the next generation of Emirati engineers and project managers. We will also serve as a centralised hub of enhanced technological capabilities, resources and expertise – and deliver ease of access to a range of world-class products and services across all defence platforms.


SDBR: Do you have partnership projects outside the UAE?

LV: Our companies already have some leading global defence partners on board. We fully expect that by building an integrated defence manufacturing and services platform we will not only benefit our primary stakeholder, the Armed Forces of the UAE but, as a centralised facilitator for world-class products and services, serve as an attractive partner from the UAE with whom to do business.



* Mr. Vigneron’s brings extensive leadership experience in the global defence arena to EDIC, previously serving as the Chairman and CEO of Thales Group from 2009 to 2012. Prior to that, he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Giat Industries. During his time at Giat, he managed an extensive restructuring, which led to a relaunch of the company under the Nexter name in 2001.

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10 janvier 2014 5 10 /01 /janvier /2014 08:30
United Arab Emirates (UAE) - Blanket Order Training


Jan 8, 2014 ASDNews Source : Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)


The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for blanket order training and associated training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $150 million.


The Government of the United Arab Emirates has requested a possible sale for follow on United States Marine Corps blanket order training, training support, and other related elements of program support for the United Arab Emirates Presidential Guard Command. The estimated cost is $150 million.


This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East. The UAE continues host-nation support of vital U.S. forces stationed at Al Dhafra Air Base and plays a vital role in supporting U.S. regional interests.


The proposed sale will provide the continuation of U.S. Marine Corps training of the UAE’s Presidential Guard for counterterrorism, counter-piracy, critical infrastructure protection, and national defense. The training also provides engagement opportunities through military exercises, training, and common equipment. The Presidential Guard currently uses these skills alongside U.S. forces, particularly in Afghanistan.


The proposed sale of this training will not alter the basic military balance in the region.


There will be no principal contractors associated with this proposed sale. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.


Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the permanent assignment of any U.S. Government or contractor representatives to the UAE. Training teams will travel to the country on a temporary basis.


There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.


This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

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26 septembre 2013 4 26 /09 /septembre /2013 07:30
photo RP Defense

photo RP Defense

The first RAF Typhoon was delivered in 2003, with the total delivered since reaching 112 aircraft.


25 Sep 2013 By Ben Martin, and Graham Ruddick


BAE Systems has formally submitted a bid to build 60 Eurofighter Typhoon jets for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), stepping up its attempt to strike a deal that could support thousands of UK jobs and is vital for the company’s prospects.


The Typhoon programme, developed by BAE, Italy’s Finmeccanica and Airbus–maker EADS, suffered a major setback last year when it lost out to French company Dassault for a major contract to supply India with 126 fighter jets.


However, the aircraft has emerged as the favourite to win the UAE contract, which could be worth around £6bn and has been described as a “game-changer” by the chief executive of BAE, Ian King.


More than 5,000 people work on the Typhoon project in Britain for BAE, which is the country’s biggest defence contractor. Securing the UAE deal would be a major boost to the manufacturing sites in Lancashire where the fighter jet is constructed.


In a note, UBS, BAE’s house broker, said: “We estimate that this order could potentially be worth £6bn for the aircraft alone and multiples of that including training, support and weapons packages.”


The British company is leading negotiations with the UAE on behalf of the Typhoon consortium. The potential deal is also likely to include a technology-sharing agreement on unmanned aircraft.


It is thought that the process to decide which aircraft the UAE selects could take several months. Dassault is also in the running to supply the UAE with its Rafale jets.


Charles Armitage at UBS said that if a deal is agreed between BAE and the UAE, it could open the door for talks with India to be restarted. He said: “If UAE is signed, this could put pressure on India, which would be the only export customer for Rafale - nobody likes being the only export customer for a programme as it tends to reduce flexibility and increase the upgrade/maintenance costs – and could bring Typhoon back into the picture.”


The group’s chances of securing the order were bolstered by an alliance that was agreed last November, when David Cameron travelled to the Gulf to unveil a formal defence and industrial partnership between Britain and the UAE.


BAE shares closed up 2.3pc at 461.3p on hopes the UAE deal will be agreed.

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16 février 2013 6 16 /02 /février /2013 20:09

Middle east


Feb. 16, 2013 - By PIERRE TRAN – Defense news


ABU DHABI – British and French defense ministers pointed to longstanding strategic relations with Arabian Gulf countries as they sought Feb. 16 to boost industry and military ties with the energy-rich region, a big buyer of equipment looking to develop local businesses.


French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, in a keynote speech at the Gulf Defense Conference, said Paris seeks not a commercial relationship but a “real strategic partnership founded on confidence,” with co-development and co-production projects in armaments and defense.


The high-level conference, organized by Inegma, is tied to the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) opening Feb. 17.


The French presence at the IDEX trade show shows France is ready to deepen partnerships in high technology areas with the United Arab Emirates, Le Drian said.


Paris hopes to sell the Rafale fighter to Abu Dhabi and faces competition from the Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-16 and Boeing F-18. Lockheed hopes later to sell the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to the UAE.


France also hopes to win a UAE tender for 700 armored vehicles, with state-owned Nexter bidding against the Patria AMV from Finland.


“There’s one chance in two,” an announcement could be made at the IDEX show, a Nexter executive said.


In wide ranging remarks on policy, Le Drian said there is no compromise possible with “terrorism,” that France should have the political will to commit, when necessary, to helping “friends, allies, and partners” and to uphold its convictions.


“We have to maintain the capacity to react militarily far from our borders,” Le Drian said. “Long-range strike, intelligence, aerial refueling, and special operations forces are essential capabilities,” he said.


Strong links between France and Arab world carried “responsibilities and duties,” Le Drian said. Over 40 years, France has become one of the leading defense partners with the Gulf Cooperation Council, signing several defense cooperation agreements, he said.


The creation of a French permanent military base in Abu Dhabi showed Paris’ responsibility as a “world power” to help contribute to a world balance, he said.


The base is part of a relationship, which includes military cooperation, exercises, close operational ties which are strengthened by the fact “our forces are equipped with common equipment,” Le Drian said.


“Engagement is not a vain word, or a pious wish. When a state friend needs help, France replies ‘present,’” he said.


Le Drian pointed to three major crises: a perceived threat of nuclear proliferation in Iran, and conflicts in Syria and Mali.


In Syria, a political transition is needed, in which president Bashar al-Assad “has no place,” Le Drian said.


Nuclear proliferation, international terrorism, chemical warfare and regional destabilization are the big threats, he said.


France is committed to security and stability in the region, Le Drian said.


Flights of Mirage 2000-9 and F-16 Block 60 fighters flew in formation over the conference held at the Armed Forces Officers Club.


Britain also sees the Gulf region as a key area, and wants to promote the U.K. as a potential buyer of defense kit built in the region.


“In age of uncertainty, Britain is a consistent partner. We will respond to your aspirations and lend you our support,” Philip Dunne, minister for defense equipment, support and technology, said at the conference.


Britain recognized the “vision to develop indigenous capability,” he said.


“We recognize in the years to come, supply of defense and security equipment will increasingly become two-way traffic,” he said.


“We are not restricted in the UK only to procure defense capability within our national boundaries or rely on a handful of selected defense partners,” he said. “We stand ready to procure much defense equipment through open competition and greater international collaboration.


“Our market is open to your growing defense industries,” he said.


Britain last year published its open procurement philosophy, he said.


“Britain has one of the most technologically advanced defense industries in the world,” Dunne said.


Almost 100 British firms are exhibiting at IDEX and NAVDEX, the associated naval show, he said.


As part of the close ties, bilateral trade between Britain and the Gulf nations has risen 39 percent over the last two years, Dunne said.


Some 160,000 British nationals live in the Gulf, with many more visiting each year, he said.


The Gulf is vital to global energy supply, and the UK imports about 20 pct of its gas from the region, he said.


The British armed forces have some 1,500 personnel deployed in the Gulf, with around 300 in non-operational missions such as defense attachés and support teams.


Since the conservative government won power in Britain in May 2010, there have been more than 160 ministerial visits to the region, including four by prime minister David Cameron, Dunne said.


That has been matched by more 100 visits to the UK by senior Gulf officials, including state visits, he said.


“Our approach is one of friendship and partnership,” Dunne said.


London has long standing relations with many Gulf countries stretching back centuries, he said. That shared history has built up “trust,” he said.


“Our economies and cultures are increasingly intertwined,” he said. The Gulf nations have links throughout Britain -- from universities, skyscrapers, financial institutions to football clubs, he said.


“The impact from inward investment from Gulf nations is rapidly growing,” Dunne said. The security and prosperity of the Gulf is of critical importance to the UK, he said.


“A threat to the security and prosperity of this region represents a threat to our interests,” he said. “We have a common interest in the stability of this region.”


Britain’s capacity to intervene in the Gulf region will grow under the Force 2020 military reorganization planned after the exit from Afghanistan, he said.


London looks to boost joint training and interoperability with Gulf forces. “We have some of the best trained, best equipped and most experienced armed forces in the world. They exercise, they deploy, and they fight, and they do it extremely well,” Dunne said.

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