Hensoldt Optronics and Saudi Arabia’s Intra sign cooperation agreement


South Africa’s Hensoldt Optronics and Saudi Arabia’s Intra Defence Technologies have signed a partnership agreement covering the development and co-production of airborne electro-optical systems.

The agreement was announced on 17 November to coincide with the Dubai Air Show, which runs from 17 to 21 November – Hensoldt and Intra are jointly exhibiting at the show.

Hensoldt said the partnership is aimed at developing a new generation of electro-optical systems, specifically a new high-performance airborne surveillance and targeting system that is typically deployed on platforms requiring very long stand-off ranges such as medium and high-altitude long endurance (MALE and HALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and high altitude surveillance aircraft. The system will also be available for use on platforms such as helicopters and aerostats.

“Intra Defence Technologies is our exclusive partner in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on all airborne EO systems,” explained Hensoldt South Africa’s Managing Director, Rynier van der Watt. “We have a long-standing relationship, which has enabled Intra to successfully manage and support our commitments in the Kingdom in terms of EO systems, including all necessary technical and support services.”

“This state-of-the-art product will be in support of the Kingdom’s 2030 local industrial development strategy,” said Salman Alshathri, President of Intra.

According to van der Watt, the new airborne gimbal will be a local Saudi product, free from third party government export restrictions. While designed for specific applications in the Gulf and Middle East region as a whole, the product allows both companies to position themselves for future programmes in their own specific markets, Hensoldt Optronics said.

Intra Defence Technologies is based in Riyadh and specialises in defence electronics, optronics, communication, unmanned aerial systems and related services. It was established in 2014.