Raytheon Emirates Limited, a Raytheon Technologies subsidiary headquartered in Abu Dhabi, is committed to employing national Emirati cadres in its technical teams and executive management. This commitment is in line with the strategic vision of the UAE and its efforts to diversify its economy and develop a highly efficient and productive Emirati workforce.
Raytheon Emirates seeks to become the UAE’s most trusted defence partner by offering valuable innovative solutions and developing the skills of local talents to uplift the national capabilities in the defence and security fields.
Furthermore, Raytheon Emirates has recently announced the appointment of Fahad Mohammed Al Mheiri as managing director. Al Mheiri, who previously served as deputy managing director of Raytheon Emirates, will oversee Raytheon Emirates’ defence localization, foster the business’s long-standing relationships with the UAE’s defence ecosystem, and build local expertise, partnerships, and capabilities. To learn more about the company, Al Jundi interviewed Mr Fahad Mohammed Al Mheiri, managing director of Raytheon Emirates Limited, and had the following dialogue with him:
Tell us more about Raytheon Emirates
Raytheon Emirates is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, established in 2017 and headquartered in Abu Dhabi. The company was launched with the support of Tawazun Council under its Economic Program to celebrate our parent company’s 30th anniversary of working closely with the UAE and marked a huge step forward in taking this long-standing partnership to new heights as the first landed company in the defence sector. Today, Raytheon Emirates is focused on three business areas that include effectors, air and missile defence, and advanced technology.
We are driven by Raytheon Technologies’ values and continue to strive to be the most trusted UAE defence partner, providing high-value innovative solutions. We continuously seek opportunities to utilize and develop the local defence industry to help diversify the UAE economy, foster indigenous technology development, and grow Emirati professional talent, further contributing to the sovereign industrial capability of the UAE.
How is Raytheon Emirates contributing to strengthening indigenous capabilities?
As part of the landed company drive and commitment by Raytheon Technologies to make Raytheon Emirates a truly Emirati entity, I received the honour to be that UAE National last year, spending time internally training and understanding Raytheon Technologies processes, procedures and culture. Now in a leadership role as the MD of Raytheon Emirates, I am proud to serve the Raytheon Technologies-UAE partnership with aims to strengthen and widen the bridge. Raytheon Emirates is committed to partnering locally, sharing global expertise, and honing the local defence capability to ensure the country meets its current and future defence needs.
We understand the strategic importance of focusing on local manufacturing and joint development with the UAE’s defence eco-system, and working with Emirati entities like Tawazun, EDGE Group and others to strengthen indigenous capabilities.
We frequently hear that firms struggle to recruit candidates for advanced roles, such as those suitable for companies like Raytheon Emirates. Do you agree, and how is Raytheon Emirates managing this?
Finding talent is a global challenge, especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. However, we do think that we all share a responsibility to fill this void by training the younger generation and ensuring they are future-ready to take on such careers. For us at Raytheon Emirates, we are committed to hiring and developing Emirati talent and growing a diverse multi-national workforce, engaging with the community, and contributing to a knowledge-based economy through supporting STEM education.
We host annual internship programs that offer Emirati students coaching, guidance and on-the-job training from Raytheon’s specialists and experienced personnel to help them jumpstart their careers. This is something we do in collaboration with Tawazun’s SEEDS program, Khalifa University, Higher Colleges of Technology and Zayed University, among others and we also support other educational initiatives that inspire and shape the next generation of purpose-driven innovators.
What opportunities for growth do you see in the UAE that you can capitalize on?
Opportunities for partnership and collaboration abound in the UAE, especially given the country’s existing infrastructure, know-how, and unrivalled local manufacturing in the region.
We are continually exploring ways to grow our presence in the UAE with the guidance and support of Tawazun. At the same time, we actively contribute to the UAE’s industrial capability, building on our long-standing presence in the nation and ensuring the sustainment of the UAE’s Hawk, Patriot, RAM and TPY-2 systems – continuously upgrading and improving them to better protect the country.
We have all seen the impact of suppliers across the globe due to the pandemic, and through this experience see the need for second-source suppliers. The support the UAE, and the Abu Dhabi government are offering through extensive initiatives to develop the UAE’s manufacturing sector along with all the other benefits the UAE has to offer make this country an attractive candidate. Through Raytheon Emirates, we are investigating opportunities to qualify second-source suppliers in the UAE that would contribute to Raytheon Technologies’ product lines, this new initiative seeks to bring exciting opportunities to the market.
Finally, as an Emirati who recently became the managing director of a renowned defence firm, what advice do you have for Emirati youth who want to be in similar positions in the future?
As our country’s dear and loved leadership have taught us, nothing is impossible. In the UAE we have many exceptional leaders in both the corporate and public sectors who inspire, challenge, and, most importantly, nurture us. My advice to young Emiratis is to never stop learning, never stop asking why, always think outside the box, and be passionate about whatever you do. If you can’t tackle a challenge in front of you, find a way around it. Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks, those who don’t, don’t learn the hard lessons, and work on developing not only crucial ‘hard skills’ but also the equally important softer skills such as interpersonal, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities. We are blessed with opportunities in this country, take advantage of everything around you, and you will eventually succeed.
- Fahad Mohammed Al Mheiri
- Managing Director, Raytheon Emirates, a Raytheon Technologies subsidiary.
- Al Mheiri has 20 years of experience across international, private, government and federal sectors.
- He was the Acting Executive Director of the UAE Space Sector at the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA).
- He was the Executive Director of Business Development at the Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC).
- He launched the UAE’s first Air Quality remote sensing project together with Masdar Institute to develop air quality-related algorithms.
- He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University.
« Interviewed by: «Al Jundi»