UAE: Tawazun, center of gravity of the national A&D industry


Launched in 2007, Tawazun Holding was created as an industrial investment arm for the Offset Program Bureau, now known as the Tawazun Economic Council, a State agency overseeing offsets and investments made by foreign companies in return for major defense contracts.

Its activities, in accordance with the Abu Dhabi 2030 Vision, are focused on non-oil industries, mainly technology and advanced products, with the aim of supporting economic diversification and creating jobs for UAE citizens. The strategic investment company, focused on defense and specialized manufacturing, took advantage of the Dubai Air show 2013 to announce new deals and partnerships.

Let us have an overview on all this:

Tawazun Precision Industries

A first deal was concluded with Boeing and Tawazun Precision Industries (TPI), a subsidiary of the company to create a 26,000 sq m facility dedicated to surface treatment at the Tawazun Industrial Park in Abu Dhabi. As a manufacturing facility of aerospace components, the State-owned TPI produces precision metal components for Boeing 787 and 777 airliners. According to a press release published on Nov. 18, Boeing will support the new JV by providing manufacturing and technology expertise as well as program management best practices. Scheduled to be commissioned in 2016, TPI is marketed as “a new aerospace manufacturing capability in the Middle East region” according to Dennis Muilenburg, President and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “Investment in the development of key capabilities is the best way for mutual benefit” he added.

Tawazun Dynamics

Tawazun Dynamics, the JV between Tawazun Holding and Denel of South Africa established in September 2012, announced the same week a contract worth US$490mn for the production of an undisclosed quantity of Al Tariq precision guided weapon systems. The UAE Armed Forces and Tawazun have also signed a contract for laser-guided Talon missiles – currently being produced in partnership with Raytheon Missile Systems. According to local newspapers, the company will manage the integration of the Talon system on the UAE Armed Forces’ existing rocket systems and deliver a dedicated training program to military personnel.

Tawazun Dynamics declared at the same time that its flagship product, the Al Tariq system, has been successfully integrated on the Dassault Mirage 2000-9 fighter. The JV has been awarded a US$492.5mn deal by the UAE Air Force for the endeavor. The missile, with a range of up to 100km employed to treat both strategic and tactical targets, could later be integrated on other aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-16E/F Desert Falcon, according to Hamad al Marar, General Manager of the company.

Nimr Automotative

Nimr Automotative, another subsidiary of Tawazun focused on land systems, signed a deal worth more than $820mn for the supply of armored personnel carriers (APCs) and multipurpose combat vehicles (MPCVs) to the UAE Armed Forces. The company would supply Nimr 6×6 and 4×4 vehicles within the next five years. According to Defense News, Tawazun recently concluded agreements with the Algerian and Turkish governments to set up JVs with local companies. Thus, Nimr Automotive will work jointly with Algeria’s Groupement de la Promotion de l’Industrie Mecanique to build two variants of its fourwheel-drive command vehicle to penetrate the African defense market. The second partnership, with FNSS Savunma Sistemleri, concerns the sale and eventually the production of UAE vehicles in Turkey.