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Abu Dhabi, 24 February 2023 – Tawazun Council signed an agreement with Saab, a leading defence and security company in the UAE, to establish a sovereign additive manufacturing capability (also known as 3D printing) for the UAE Air Force and Air Defence (AFAD), with the goal of efficiently designing and manufacturing spare parts.

The agreement was signed at Tawazun Chalet at IDEX 2023 and NAVDEX 2023 by Abdullah Saif Al Awani, Chief Economic Programme Officer at Tawazun Council, and Anna-Karin Rosén, Managing Director of Saab in the UAE, in the presence of a number of senior officials.

The agreement followed the launching of the first Emirati 3D printing Centre of Excellence “Sindan”, which was announced during IDEX 2023.

This agreement is aimed at meeting several of the policy guidelines outlined as part of Tawazun’s Economic Programme objectives, including providing strategic benefits to the UAE, encouraging knowledge transfer, building new capabilities, creating employment opportunities for UAE nationals, and targeting aerospace and additive manufacturing as priority sectors.

By empowering the UAE AFAD with the sovereign additive manufacturing capability to 3D print parts, the partnership will make it more self-reliant and less dependent on overseas suppliers, reduce lead-time and costs for components to be delivered, and increase the uptime and availability of crucial military assets.

Abdullah Al Awani said, “The partnership reflects Tawazun Council’s ongoing efforts to develop and manage strategic partnerships in the defence industry sector, which have significant economic implications for the UAE. This collaboration benefits all parties by creating value through locally manufactured products, promoting self-sufficiency and human capability development, and supporting local manufacturing. Additionally, it facilitates the transfer of technology and enhances the UAE’s sovereign capabilities in the areas of air force and air defence.”

Anna-Karin Rosén added, “Saab is deeply committed to being an important strategic partner to the UAE’s AFAD, and we are honoured by the prospect of cooperating with Tawazun Council as it seeks to strengthen sovereign manufacturing capabilities that will ensure sustainable growth of the defence sector. Our agreement is poised to accomplish this, while also leveraging the promising potential of the nation’s workforce by providing UAE nationals with high value training and employment opportunities that will equip them with the skills to lead and further develop the industry for years to come.”