A government official exclusively revealed to Breaking Defence that the UAE has terminated a nearly €800 million contract with Airbus to purchase 12 H225 Caracal multirole helicopters.
“Our agreement to buy H225 helicopters from Airbus Helicopters was terminated recently. According to Muammar Abdulla Abushehab, sector chief for defense and security industry affairs for the Tawazun Council.
“We found it difficult to continue the contract due to the high lifecycle cost, the limitations in adapting to modular designs of future mission requirements, and the complex technical proposal.”
The independent governing body of the United Arab Emirates, known as the Tawazun Council, collaborates closely with the Ministry of Defence and security organizations there.
Among other responsibilities, it is charged with overseeing technical innovation and research and development in this area. Further, Airbus did not respond to requests for comment at release time.
According to Abushehab, the cancellation was solely driven by financial and technical considerations and was not political. The corporation was not seriously motivated to comply with our requests to satisfy the government’s urgent expectations. Another aspect that led to the decision to end the contract was the failure to meet in-country value goals, he said.
UAE Cancels Helicopter Deal with Airbus
In December 2021, the UAE placed an order for 12 H225M Caracal helicopters. Which are expected to cost between €750 and €800 million.
The H225M, the military variant of the H225, can be equipped with various armaments. Further, including machine guns, rockets, and anti-ship missiles. Subsequently, 11 customers purchased them for export, and the French air force is now using them.
In a more general statement on the Tawazun Council’s function in the defense industry. Abushehab stated that one of his responsibilities “includes managing governmental defense and security research. Subsequently, development activities, including dual-use applications, in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence.”
He continued by saying that the primary objectives of R&D are to foster domestic talent. Further, assist acquisition operations, and create intellectual property and product lines that may be licensed to businesses.
“At this time, our primary focus is on developing in-country value through all of the operations that we undertake in collaboration with both our local and our international partners,” the executive stated.
Major defense contractors and Tawazun Council have inked agreements to jointly develop in the council’s labs in the United Arab Emirates. A few of these companies are Raytheon, Boeing, Leonardo, Saab, L3 Harris, and others.
“Defence contractors can now receive offset credits by participating in economic activities. Further to strengthen the local economy, hasten the transfer of technology and know-how, present job and training opportunities, and enhance the supply chain,” he added.
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