EDGE Chairman Outlines Defense Industrial Partnership Opportunities


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Danny Sebright (L), President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council and H.E Faisal Al Bannai (R), Chairman of EDGE.

The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council hosted an industry dinner on February 20th in Abu Dhabi that featured a fireside chat with H.E. Faisal Al Bannai, Chairman of EDGE Group, along with a panel discussion of U.S. defense company executives from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Palantir, and Raytheon Technologies. This dinner occurred on the first night of the International Defense Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi.

In conversation with Business Council President Danny Sebright, H.E. Faisal Al Bannai discussed the ongoing transformation and evolving priorities of EDGE Group, which has consolidated over 30 Emirati defense industrial entities into one holding company. His Excellency highlighted EDGE’s development of smart and autonomous weapons in response to the changing nature of warfare, as well as steps it is taking to conduct original research and development in the U.A.E. His Excellency also outlined what he is looking for from U.S. partners and provided recommendations for U.S. defense companies seeking to partner with U.A.E. defense companies in order to promote stability and security in the region.

From L to R: Dayle Carden, Senior Advisor at the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council; Jeff Shockey, Senior VP of Global Government Relations at Raytheon Technologies; Vince Logsdon, VP of International Business Development at Boeing Defense; Ray Piselli, VP of International Business at Lockheed Martin; and David Spirk, Senior Counselor at Palantir Technologies

Business Council Senior Advisor Dayle Carden moderated a conversation about the Russia-Ukraine conflict’s impact on supply chains with Vince Logsdon, Vice President of International Business Development from Boeing, Ray Piselli, Vice President of International Business from Lockheed Martin, David Spirk, a Senior Counselor from Palantir Technologies, and Jeff Shockey, Senior Vice President of Global Government Relations from Raytheon Technologies.

Panelists discussed the challenges their companies are facing in meeting soaring demand for weapons as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war. They reviewed the ways in which the Russia-Ukraine conflict has highlighted the evolving nature of warfare and technological advancements in weapons that are being used more frequently today. Finally, the panelists offered ways the U.S. and its Middle East partners can collaborate and partner together to bolster their bilateral defense and security relationship while meeting the demand for weapons in other theaters.

Senior U.S. Mission and visiting U.S. Department of State officials also spoke to the some 300 assembled guests.

(L) Darren Purdue, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi; (R) Stanley L. Brown, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Department of State

For more information about the U.S.-U.A.E. defense and security relationship, please click here
to read a report published in February 2023 by the Business Council. For questions about this event or the Business Council’s activities in the defense and security sector, please contact Amira Siddiqi at asiddiqi@usuaebusiness.org