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Dubai Airshow 2021: Airbus to open new facility in UAE

The VSR700 shipborne unmanned aerial vehicle is part of the collaboration between Airbus and the UAE. (Airbus Helicopters)

Airbus and the United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) Tawazun Economic Council signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the establishment of an Airbus-owned facility in Abu Dhabi.

Under the MoU, signed on 14 November, Airbus and Tawazun will “explore potential co-operation opportunities in the areas of refuelling solutions for military air systems, unmanned aerial systems, helicopter Flightlab, and R&D [research and development] for UAS/VSR700.”

HE Tareq Al Hosani said in a statement that “part of Tawazun's role is to invest in key social infrastructure and create globally integrated industry sectors for the benefit of the UAE through local and global partnerships. We are very happy that our partnership with Airbus will serve our shared interests and potentially help position the UAE as a hub within the sector”.

The announcement of the establishment of an Airbus-owned facility in the UAE comes after the country signed for an additional two Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, bringing its MRTT fleet to five. The first aircraft is expected to be delivered in 2024, with the UAE's existing aircraft also being upgraded to the latest standard.

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