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

2018-05-01

Lockheed Martin: Helping UAE Meet an Array of Challenges

Lockheed Martin has had a four-decade long relationship with the UAE, beginning with defence programmes.  Robert Harward, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin UAE, talks to Nation Shield on how the company has gone beyond the security segment to help UAE realise its GDP goals as well as enable its next generation through high-tech training. Excerpts:
 
How does Lockheed Martin help the UAE meet the challenges of the future?
 We do that through our proven products and capabilities and also by investing in the research and development needed to help our Emirati partners stay one step ahead. We’ve had a strong relationship with the UAE for four decades, initially supporting defence programmes like the C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft, F-16 fighter, PAC-3 missile interceptor and THAAD anti-ballistic missile system. Today, we are expanding our relationship to support the UAE and regional allies to help them meet the challenges of the future.
 
 Can you tell us about your joint venture Exechon?
 In 2016, Lockheed Martin and the Swedish technology company Exechon formed a new joint venture with a local company, Injaz National, which is in Abu Dhabi.
This joint venture, manufactures an advanced robot machining tool made out of carbon fibre. We intend to support the UAE become a hub for robotic and automated manufacturing systems. 
The UAE aims to increase the overall contribution of the manufacturing sector from 11 per cent to 25 per cent GDP by 2025, and these technologies play a role in achieving that goal.
 
 You are particularly focused on supporting the next generation.  Can you tell us about your current initiative, the UAE Unmanned Payload Design Challenge?
 Beyond defence, we seek to help build the local communities. Through our Center for Innovation and Security Solutions based in Masdar City, we have trained a number of local students and industry executives. One of our current programmes is the inaugural UAE Unmanned Aerial System Payload Design Challenge, which trains university students to design, develop and integrate civilian and industrial applications for Lockheed Martin’s Indago, a small, vertical take-off and landing, unmanned aerial system.
 Six UAE-based university teams were selected as finalists for the challenge, and their projects are real-world solutions that can help the UAE now and into the future.
 
 What are the new security threats you foresee in the Middle East? 
Peaceful nations like the UAE face a wide array of threats – from asymmetric, non-state actors to nations seeking territorial expansion and regional dominance.  Lockheed Martin is here to help the governments meet their first priority: the safety and security of their citizens.
 

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