Partnership means being there.
In aerospace and defense, having a footprint in the countries where your customers live and work provides unique insights into their needs and allows for direct support of communities and regional workforces. Industry leaders including Raytheon Technologies are demonstrating that in the United Arab Emirates, where the company’s businesses have been supporting defense needs as well as economic imperatives for more than 30 years.
“The UAE sits in a very strategic regional environment,” explained Alan Davis, chief executive at Raytheon Emirates, a Raytheon Technologies subsidiary. “The systems that are procured here and the systems that we provide help meet the unique security needs and maintain stability in the region. Raytheon Technologies has partnered with various players across the defense industry for over 30 years to provide those systems and security for the region.”
A footprint in the UAE “is the most effective way for us to provide the best support we possibly can to the UAE customers,” said Jay Little, Vice President, Middle East, at Collins Aerospace, a Raytheon Technologies business. “The UAE is a regional leader, and it’s a market that Middle East customers look towards. There is also a high-quality emerging talent base here and, with an established presence here, we are able to benefit from both of those factors and develop cutting-edge technologies.”
Raytheon Technologies works with the UAE manufacturing and supplier ecosystem to partner locally, strengthening industrial capabilities and diversifying the nation’s economy. When the former Raytheon Company merged with United Technologies Corp. in 2020, it only increased the opportunities in those areas.
“As a result of the merger between Raytheon and UTC, we have a very diverse portfolio of products, and services, but more importantly, technologies,” said Davis. “This robust portfolio is half commercial and half defense, half international and half U.S. domestic. The nature of that portfolio diversity allows us to foster an environment focused on indigenous aerospace and defense for the economy here in the UAE. In turn, that allows the country to sustain their sovereignty through developing systems and technologies and to provide for their own capabilities.”
The merger “gave us an unprecedented breadth of products and capabilities to serve the customers’ needs,” Little said. “Now we're able to use that scale to address those priorities like never before. This merger is not only exciting for our customers for those reasons, but it’s also exciting for our staff. They are now able to collaborate across this new ecosystem of colleagues to provide systems and solutions that just weren’t possible before.”
Raytheon Technologies has also invested in the future Emirati workforce by providing STEM educational opportunities like MathAlive! and cybersecurity workshops with Khalifa University, as well as summer internship programs. By providing local opportunities in these fields, the company aims to empower young people to contribute to a rapidly evolving, fast-paced industry that’s prominent in their region.
“When you look at the energy of the youth here in the UAE, and you see their excitement for this work, it gives us a lot of hope and enthusiasm around where we want to go as a company,” Davis said. “The skill set, the capabilities and the attitude that these college students bring to the table shows so much promise.”
With facilities in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and the Jebel Ali Free Zone, Raytheon Technologies employs approximately 450 people in the UAE, primarily as part of Raytheon Emirates and Collins Aerospace. These teams offer expertise in areas including:
- integrated air and missile defense
- intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
- space and mission support
- tactical communications
- unmanned and counter-unmanned aircraft systems
Collaboration among Raytheon Technologies’ businesses is adding value for the company’s customers. For example, Raytheon Technologies’ corporate cybersecurity capabilities have clear applications for improving products across its businesses.
“The possibilities are endless as you start to meld that core expertise that we have and embrace the demands of a connected battlespace,” Little said.
The importance of in-country and international relationships will be a focus for the UAE-based Raytheon Technologies team at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference this year. The conference brings together defense leaders across the Middle East and North Africa region to discuss and demonstrate defense technology, as well as strengthen relationships among government, industry and the armed forces throughout the region. It is being held in person, with numerous COVID-19 travel and health protocols in place.