South Africa's State-owned defence industrial group Denel announced at Africa Aerospace and Defence 2012 on Thursday that it had established a joint venture (JV) with United Arab Emirates company Tawazun Holdings.
The JV is called Tawazun Dynamics and is 51% held by Tawazun Holdings and 49% by Denel.
Within Denel, responsibility for the JV is held by the group's precision weapons, missiles and unmanned air vehicles company, Denel Dynamics. This is the first partnership involving Denel Dynamics which will be based outside South Africa, giving the company an international footprint.
Denel Group CEO Rias Salojee described it as a "very significant agreement". Denel Dynamics CEO Jan Wessels stated that, "for us at Denel, and Denel Dynamics specifically, it is of huge importance".
Wessels highlighted the opportunity to combine Tawazun Holdings' investment experience with Denel Dynamics' expertise in defence technology.
"Denel's JV with Tawazun will provide us with an important foothold in the strategic market of the Middle East," he affirmed.
"We want to play a role in joint ventures and smart partnerships, especially with developing countries."
The new JV will manufacture and integrate precision guided munitions for the United Arab Emirates Air Force and for other branches of the country's armed forces, as well as for other customers. Manufacturing will be a central function of Tawazun Dynamics, which will strengthen Denel Dynamics' production base. Hitherto, Denel Dynamics has been a very strong development house but has had a relatively small manufacturing capacity.
Denel Dynamics already has a successful partnership with Brazil, covering the development of the A-Darter air-to-air missile, which is scheduled to enter production in 2014. This partnership, however, is based in South Africa (although Brazil will set up its own production line for the missile).