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BAE eyes maritime business in Qatar: Official.


DOHA BRITISH Aerospace Enterprise (BAE) Systems, a global defence and security company that delivers products and services for air, land and naval forces, is exploring maritime equipment business opportunities in Qatar, a senior company official has said.

"We are looking at consolidating our presence in Qatar and we are exploring opportunities to offer our services at the Nakilat Damen Shipyards," Head of Communications - East, BAE Systems, Louise Robson told Qatar Tribune in an interview.

The Nakilat Damen Shipyards Qatar was inaugurated last year.

It is a joint venture between Qatar Gas Transport Company Ltd (Nakilat) and Damen Shipyards Qatar Holding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Damen Shipyards Group.

The ship construction facility located at of Ras Laffan port can manufacture commercial, naval and coast guard vessels besides luxury yachts.

Asked what kind of plans does BAE have for Qatar, Robson said, "We are still doing feasibility studies and we don't have any immediate plans, but we are definitely looking at developing partnership with our customers." "In Qatar we are looking at a partnership which would be on similar lines that we have in the UAE where we are assisting the Gulf Aircraft Maintenance Company (GAMCO) in supporting the existing Hawk fleet," she said.

Long-term sustainable partnerships such as BAE's agreement with Mubadala to work together to develop the UAE's aerospace industry could be another model, she added.

In 2009 BAE Systems Surface Ships formed a joint venture with Abu Dhabi Ship Building to create Gulf Logistics and Naval Support, which is a leading provider of through-life naval support services in the Middle East region.

Commenting on future equipment sale to Qatar, the BAE official said, "Qatar Armed Forces are evaluating our Typhoon aircraft and we are hopeful that they would acquire it soon." According to Robson another area in which Qatar would be interest is technology for border and coast guard security.

"Recently BAE Systems successfully demonstrated a prototype device that would serve as an effective non-lethal deterrent against pirate attacks on commercial vessels such as oil tankers and container ships and this technology would be of interest to many countries in the region," Robson added.

"In order to help combat the growing piracy threat BAE Systems conducted a study of pirate's behaviour and a company- wide capability survey.

This led to the development of the concept of using a non-lethal laser, which would leave only temporary effects, to distract and deter potential attackers from a distance," she said.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Feb 13, 2011
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