BEIRUT — Leonardo DRS’ land electronics unit has signed an agreement with the International Golden Group based in the United Arab Emirates to support key projects for the country’s armed forces.

As part of the settlement, U.S.-based Leonardo DRS will establish an innovative engineering and support facility in IGG’s industrial park in Abu Dhabi to support projects and assist in hiring and training locals to fill new high-tech manufacturing positions, the company said in a statement.

“Leonardo has a long history in working to support the armed forces of the UAE, and this partnership within our subsidiary and IGG has us very excited," Lorenzo Mariani, Leonardo chief commercial officer, told Defense News

The two parties are expected to collaborate on advanced communication systems integration in support of tactical C4I projects, as well as onboard vehicle power systems that provide combat vehicles with up to 120 kilowatts of mobile electrical power for complex C4ISR systems, mobile command posts, radars, weapon systems and other power-hungry expeditionary capabilities.

“The high technology of Leonardo DRS and the capabilities of IGG will lead to next-level products for the country’s armed forces now and well into the future,” Mariani added.

The agreement deepens an already strong relationship between Leonardo DRS and the government of the UAE. In 2017, Leonardo and IGG signed a strategic collaboration agreement to supply cybersecurity capabilities in the UAE, and to identify and implement advanced solutions including security operations centers. The agreement’s aim was to integrate the solutions and market knowledge offered by IGG with Leonardo’s state-of-the-art know-how in a long-term strategic and international partnership.

Bill Guyan, vice president and general manager of the Leonardo DRS land electronics unit, considers the Emirati-American military relationship a robust one full of new growth potential over the next few years.

“The recent growth of the Leonardo DRS land electronics business in the UAE has produced this natural next step. We are proud to lay down enduring roots and a strong business presence and remain committed to the success of our UAE customer and UAE Vision 2021,” he said, referring to the country’s effort to prioritize health care, economic competitiveness, sustainable infrastructure, education, a cohesive society and an improved judiciary.

“We are eager to work with IGG to provide the guidance, technology and support required to increase interoperability between the U.S. and Emirati forces, allowing them to strategically operate more closely,” he added.

Chirine Mouchantaf contributed stories on Middle East defense and wrote for SDArabia, an Arabic security and defense magazine.

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