Colonel Tim Martin said on Monday that the two countries could set up joint ventures in different countries to produce counter-terrorism equipment such as protective devices, jammers, command and control devices, intelligence processing tools and surveillance systems.
“The UK has long-standing experience in countering terrorism, and this dates back to our experience in dealing with the situations in Ireland to more recent operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.The combination of the British experience and the efforts to develop local talent in the UAE in the national security and defence sectorswould be beneficial to both the countries,’’ he told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX).
In the past, the level of cooperation between the countries was confined to the UK developing and manufacturing equipment and selling it to the UAE. Now it will be possible for the UAE to get involved in both development and manufacturing. This will benefit the UAEeconomy as a whole as it would also create jobs.
National security and counter-terrorism operations haveemerged as a multi-billion dollar business across the globe, Martin said.
“It is becoming increasingly difficult to draw a line between national operations covering national security, defence and good governance, For example, if you install modernID system for the citizens, it can be classified as part of both national security efforts and good governance, because it can be used for both the purposes. Similarly an unmanned air vehicle can be used for both defence purposes by the military and for national security operations by the police,’’ he said.
Technology can be crucial in counter-terrorism operations. “Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are widely used now in terrorist operations. So the remote control devices like robots have an important role to play in counter terrorism operations,’’ he said.
Martin said that protecting UAE energy installations should be the country’s main priority as they provide most of its wealth. The UAE also faces possible security risks from Iran as well asthreats from pirates, he said.
Over 100 companies from the UK are showcasing their national security devices at the IDEX. The equipment includes robots, some in human form, which can be used to removeexplosive devices planted by terrorists.