Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971


Al Tariq: The Regional Leader in Aerial Weaponry

A leader in precision-guided systems for conventional air munitions, the UAE-based Al Tariq meets the rising challenges in airborne defence that require combat-driven smaller, smarter, and faster munitions. The company’s vision to change the face of air defence is driven by innovation, advanced technology, and added value.
Al Tariq’s niche portfolio includes precision-guided munitions (PGM) - that can greatly enhance the strike capabilities. Offering an upgraded stand-off range, Al Tariq’s fire-and-forget system helps improve aircrew and aircraft safety. Its seeker technologies mitigate collateral damage by delivering a very high degree of accuracy. 
Theunis Botha, Chief Executive Officer, Al Tariq spoke to Nation Shield on the phenomenal growth of the company and the extensive services it offers in its area of specialisation.
What are the new challenges in airborne defence, and how is Al Tariq preparing to meet them?
Most precision guided munitions (PGM) currently depend heavily on Global Navigation Satellite Solutions (GNSS) for midcourse guidance and navigation, adding advanced sensors for terminal target identification and guidance.  Advances in inertial navigation systems (INS) also have added to the precision of Al Tariq weapons. Our future will be more focused on implementing various new technologies to the picture within the flexibility of our range of precision guided weapons. 
What are the key products in your portfolio?
We design and produce the Al Tariq range – a modular family of Precision Guided Munitions designed for the Mark 81 and Mark 82 aerial bombs. We use a range of guidance and propulsion technologies to convert unguided aerial weapons into high-precision, longer-range focused munitions. The family consists of Al Tariq-S (Standard Range) and Al Tariq-LR (Long Range). The long range includes a wing-kit that increases the range from 40 kilometres to 120 kilometres. The Al Tariq family will also be expanded in future to include other versions of aerial bombs. We are in the process of integrating this on to more platforms in the near future for further applications.
How do you support operational performance of your products?
We provide a complete turnkey solution to our customers including the delivery of the guidance kits. And with that comes a full set of logistics support equipment, documentation and training to enable effective deployment around the globe.
What are the key features of your kits on offer?
The outstanding feature is a single modular kit for the Mark 81 and Mark 82 range of aerial bombs. It provides a longer range compared to any similar kits in the world reaching up to 120 kilometres. Our PGMs provide unparallel lethality and accuracy using a selection of dual mode seekers for terminal guidance to provide an all-weather day and night operational solution. The dual mode seekers include a GNSS solution with a high degree of robustness against GNSS jamming and spoofing. The second seeker is a semi active laser seeker (SAL), which is also all-weather day and night. And the third seeker is an Imaging Infrared (IIR) seeker with Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) capabilities which again has all-weather day and night operational capability. We also provide a wireless integration solution onto platforms or a digital (MIL-STD-1760) integration onto more modern platforms. The system itself is an ITAR free solution, which is a great advantage for certain users.
How does leveraging on advanced technologies help you?
We have a strong engineering team which is constantly pushing the boundaries of technology for the improvement of the system. And the advanced technologies allow our engineering team to create local intellectual property across multiple engineering disciplines including aerodynamics, software development and mechanical designs for use in future.
Can you tell us more about your guided aerial weapons?
We recently announced upgrades that enhance the capability of Al Tariq precision guided weapon technology. We integrated a few new features, one of them, is the new Height-Of-Burst-Sensor (HOBS) which provides impact and air burst capability, a new PowerPack* that equips the weapons with a pre-flight power source - in cases where the platform does not provide power, full digital interfacing for fighter integration and greater mission flexibility with cockpit fuse programmability. 
The upgrades are fully compliant with U.S. military standard 1760 (MIL-STD-1760), and French standard DIGIBUS. We constantly upgrade our weapon systems underlining our total commitment to innovation. We are always focussed on strengthening our foundation and in-house capabilities to ensure that we produce state-of-the-art solutions and products. This, we realise, is a fundamental requirement to enhance the capability of defence and security forces, to protect lives and buttress national interests.
Who are your major clients in the region, and for what products?
Obviously, our customer is the UAE. Our products have been integrated on some of the platforms being used by the UAE Forces. They use the full range of Al Tariq family of weapons. We are also in process of various business development campaigns in the region. That has progressed well. Unfortunately, I cannot disclose anything more at this point in time.
*This is the “Trademark” name for the Al Tariq battery pack.
Written By Sakha Pramod

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