UAE-based electronic warfare and intelligence (EW&I) solutions provider SIGN4L has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with MBDA and Ariane Group’s French unit Cilas to explore cooperation in the field of high-energy laser weapon systems development.

The MoU was signed during the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2021) held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

As agreed, the three entities will work to evaluate the collaboration on high-energy laser weapons systems as part of an advanced counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) strategy.

Each partner will identify a potential axis of cooperation in multiple domains and activities associated with high-energy lasers such as operational analysis and systems architecture.

The work will consider potential vulnerabilities and performance demonstration.

Edge CEO and managing director Faisal Al Bannai, who signed the MoU on behalf of SIGN4L, said: “It is a proud moment for us at SIGN4L and Edge to bring critical competencies in directed energy to the country and the region as part of our wider strategy on counter-UAV solutions.

“We are confident our synergies with CILAS and MBDA will further advance the UAE’s defence preparedness, and enable the country to build a secure technological future.”

MBDA CEO Eric Béranger said: “For the first time, MBDA is engaging in an ambitious cooperation outside Western Europe regarding high-energy laser.

“Collaboration in this field is of a mutual interest since MBDA and Cilas’s capabilities and experience working on high-energy laser activities for more than 30 years is complementary to SIGN4L’s strong knowledge and expertise regarding them.”

Headquartered in France, MBDA develops and manufactures missiles.

In November, MBDA was selected by France for the development of a new missile for Tiger helicopter.