Qatar is planning to develop its own drone technology to boost security of its coastal borders, a defense official said.
General Khalid bin Ahmad Al Kuwari, director of the Qatar Armed Forces’ Reconnaissance and Surveillance Center (RSC), told Gulf Times that the remote-controlled aircraft would help boost the country’s security.
The official spoke following the signing of a five-year research agreement between RSC and Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) in “drone technology in defense, industry and commerce,” interim dean Dr. Ann Kenimer said.
During DIMDEX 2016, the government had signed an MOU with Polish firm WKK to manufacture and produce drone parts for Qatar’s armed forces.
The agreement included WKK providing “support in the field of aircraft manufacturing and technology transfer to Qatar,” QNA reported at the time, and followed Qatar’s purchase of a 51 percent stake in the company.
The QR32.58 billion worth of deals signed at the biennial defense expo also included a QR460.5 million agreement with US-based Aurora for drone sensor integration and QR365 million worth of drones from German company Reiner Stemme Utility Air-Systems.
Al Kuwari also said that plans were also underway to draft a “space management concept” for Qatar’s airspace.
The aim is to avoid situations like the closure of Dubai International Airport for more than an hour last weekend due to unauthorized use of a drone.
“It is not a big issue, but we have to take care of it. Drones can sometimes be disturbing,” Al Kuwari reportedly said.
Drone owners who wish to fly their craft must first get government approval, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced last month.