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IDEX 2021: MBDA, Tawazun sign agreement on SmartGlider development

Pan-European missile systems manufacturer MBDA signed a head of terms agreement with the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE’s) Tawazun to develop the SmartGlider family of guided weapons at the IDEX 2021 trade show held in Abu Dhabi on 22–25 February.

The system is in a pre-development concept phase, with the new agreement to begin the development of the system from design to production phase.

Under the agreement, a joint team of engineers from both organisations will begin development of the missile system. The majority of the engineers will be from Tawazun and will undertake work through MBDA’s first regional Missile Engineering Centre established in UAE. The two groups will work on validating a number of concepts prior to production, with the intention to bring a system that matches price and performance requirements to final development.

The HSL launcher for the SmartGlider Light can carry multiple all-up-rounds. (MBDA)

The HSL launcher for the SmartGlider Light can carry multiple all-up-rounds. (MBDA)

Tawazun’s Chief Officer of Economic Development, Matar Al Romaithi, said in a statement that, “This agreement allows us to extend and increase our areas of co-development and co-production of technologically advanced defence products. Collaborating with MBDA will reinforce our commitment to contributing to the development of defence and security industries in the UAE, to building national capabilities, and to supporting the growth of local supply chains.”

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