The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has signed a R23 million contract with Denel Dynamics to provide technical support for aircraft systems.
The deal was announced on Monday, February 21, the first day of the UMEX & SimTEX 2022 exhibition being held in Abu Dhabi. The event focuses on unmanned systems, simulation, training, artificial intelligence and robotics. The event is organized by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company (ADNEC) in cooperation with the UAE Ministry of Defense and attracted 134 companies from 26 countries.
Major General Dr. Mubarak Saeed Ghafan Al Jabri, Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee of UMEX & SimTEX 2022 and the accompanying conference, said: “This strategic event specializing in unmanned systems and systems training and simulation facility is the only one of its kind in the region, as it plays a central role in supporting the UAE’s efforts to consolidate its position as a global leader by using innovations to strengthen the economy and national stability and regional. This event comes at a time when we are witnessing challenges and global conditions, highlighting the capabilities of the UAE to host such a strategic event in the high tech and defense industries sector.
Among the $167 million in deals announced on Monday, Denel Dynamics won the AED5.597 million ($1.5 million or R23 million) technical support contract. It’s for his Seeker unmanned aerial vehicles.
The UAE has ordered several Seekers over the years, with the most recent contract announced in March 2021 when the UAE Armed Forces ordered a Seeker 400 system for the Presidential Guard at a cost of $50 million. AED (R204 million).
The UAE had previously ordered for AED 25,821,190 (R105 million) Seeker 400 in March 2020.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Arms Transfer Database, the UAE purchased several batches of Seeker II aircraft in the 1990s and 2000s, Seeker 200s in 2017 and six Seeker 400 armed drones in 2018.
The Seeker 400 is capable of carrying dual-imaging electro-optical/infrared payloads with gimbal diameters up to 530mm. Sensor combinations can include a daylight color camera with zoom lens; infrared thermal imager with stepped fields of view; daytime color or monochrome observation camera; night observation camera, laser designator and laser range finder.
An electronic intelligence payload (ELINT) is available for detection and location of radar emitters. To provide multiple missions and multiple roles, optional sensors and specific payloads like synthetic aperture radar (SAR), communications intelligence (COMINT), signals intelligence (SIGINT) and communications via satellite can be integrated.
The Seeker 400 has a range of up to 16 hours and can carry two payloads of sensors (weighing 100 kg combined) at the same time, or guided weapons (such as the non-powered P2 GPS-guided weapon from Denel Dynamics or the Halcon Desert Sting series).