The quest for Qatar’s self-sufficiency in defence and security has received a major boost with Barzan Holdings signing multiple agreements with leading international companies on Wednesday.
Barzan Holdings, the first defence and security company responsible for empowering the military capabilities of the Qatar Armed Forces, had made its official public launch on the opening day of the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (Dimdex 2018) on Monday.
"Through these agreements and the creation of joint ventures (JVs) with partner companies, Barzan Holdings is building human and technological capital in Qatar, creating new research and development (R&D) capabilities in Qatar," it was explained in an official statement.
The signings took place at Dimdex 2018, of which Barzan Holdings is a strategic partner and also the largest exhibitor.
Barzan Holdings signed an agreement with Italian company Beretta Holding to create a JV named ‘Bindig’, the Qatari word for rifle. Beretta's first JV in the Middle East will manufacture pistols and rifles under the Bindig name in Qatar, for use by the Qatar Armed Forces and other security and governmental entities.
An agreement was inked with Turkish company BMC that specialises in military vehicles. BMC is a legacy investment of the Qatar Armed Forces, and Barzan Holdings will now manage this relationship in the future.
Another agreement being signed by Barzan Holdings at Dimdex 2018
Barzan Holdings has partnered with major US defence contractor Raytheon to power the Qatar Cyber Academy. The institution will train Qataris undergoing their national service, and also open its services to the public sector to better understand cyber security and protect themselves from potential cyber security threats.
The agreement with Norwegian company Kongsberg is to create a JV called ‘BK Systems’, specialising in military communications systems, navigations systems, and weapons manufacture.
The deal with Turkish company Sur International and the Qatar Amiri Guard will establish a JV called ‘QSur’ to manufacture high-end military uniforms and uniform accessories.
Barzan Holdings has a JV agreement with Qinetiq from the UK, a leading provider of military consultancy services to create ‘BQ Solutions’. During Dimdex, BQ Solutions signed an agreement with the Qatari Emiri Navy under which BQ Solutions will advise the navy on best strategies and practices in ‘blue water’ and transformational activities.
An agreement with German defence company Rheinmetall AG has created a JV called Rheinmetall Barzan Advanced Technologies (RBAT) that will develop an ammunition manufacturing base in Qatar, provide security for strategic venues and critical infrastructure in Qatar, and develop research in UGV (unmanned ground vehicle) and HEL (high energy laser) technology.
Barzan Holdings signed agreements with two Turkish companies, Aselsan and SStek, to create a JV called ‘Barq’ which will engage in developing and producing electro optic equipment, crypto technology, and research related to remote weapon platforms.
Another agreement is with US company Wilcox, specialising in weapons manufacturing, plus electro optic gun technology.
Barzan Holdings has also signed an MoU with Turkish company SSM, to work on joint R&D projects between Qatar and Turkey for knowledge exchange.
"Barzan Holdings is working with its international partners to strengthen Qatar’s future by setting a road map for Qatar’s military and security industries, in coordination with Qatar Armed Forces," the statement added.
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