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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) armed forces placed an order at the Dubai Airshow to produce an undisclosed quantity of Al Tariq precision-guided weapon systems valued at US $500 million.
According to Defense News the systems, manufactured by Tawazun Dynamics, a member of the Tawazun Group, is a family of strap-on bomb kit systems. According to a statement by the company, the order is part of the Armed Forces General Headquarters’ drive to support home-grown defense manufacturing capabilities and to benefit from Tawazun’s experience in the industrial and manufacturing fields.
The announcement comes amid the U.S. policy trend of not selling precision weapons to Arabian Gulf states. Last year, the firm signed a joint venture to build a guided-weapons systems facility in Abu Dhabi with South Africa’s largest weapons manufacturer, Denel.
Tawazun Dynamics manufactures, assembles and integrates guidance systems for conventional air munitions to transform them into precision guided weapons exclusively for the UAE Air Force. The UAE armed forces and Tawazun also signed a contract for the procurement, delivery and integration of the laser-guided TALON missiles.
TALON missile systems are being produced in the UAE under a co-development and production and marketing program between the UAE armed forces and Raytheon Missile Systems.
The second contract states that Tawazun will maintain a full integration of TALON system into the UAE armed forces’ existing rocket systems and deliver a training program on the system for the armed forces’ personnel. The integration program will also cover platforms of the UAE-made Nimr armored vehicles, which are serving in different units of the UAE armed forces.
Tawazun said in a statement that field testing of the TALON missile system had been completed successfully and Raytheon is finalizing the airworthiness and qualification of TALON systems on Apache helicopters.