Cooperation on Airborne Electro-Optic Systems

INTRA Defense Technologies of Saudi Arabia and HENSOLDT Optronics Pty, based in South Africa, signed an exclusive partner agreement to cooperate in joint development and future co-production of next generation airborne electro-optic systems.

Signing of the official agreement at Dubai Airshow 2020.

Riyadh, 18 November 2019 – With a view to developing new generation EO systems for airborne platforms, HENSOLDT Optronics and INTRA Defense Technologies have recently signed an exclusive agreement in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The agreement provides for the co-development of a new high-performance airborne surveillance and targeting system that is typically deployed on platforms requiring very long stand-off ranges such as medium and high-altitude long endurance (MALE and HALE) UAVs and high altitude surveillance aircraft. It can also be utilised on platforms such as helicopters and aerostats.

“INTRA Defense Technologies is our exclusive partner in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on all airborne EO systems,” explained HENSOLDT South Africa’s MD, Rynier van der Watt.  “We have a long-standing relationship, which has enabled INTRA to successfully manage and support our commitments in the Kingdom in terms of EO systems, including all necessary technical and support services.”

The recent agreement signed in Riyadh is focused both on joint development and future co-production of the new generation airborne product.  “This state-of-the-art product will be in support of the Kingdom’s 2030 local industrial development strategy,” said Mr Salman Alshathri, President of INTRA.

According to Rynier van der Watt, the new airborne gimbal will be a local Saudi product, free from third party government export restrictions. While designed for specific applications in the Gulf and Middle East region as a whole, the product allows both companies to position themselves for future programmes in their own specific markets.


About INTRA Defense Technologies Co. Ltd.

Intra is a Saudi company based in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, specialising in Defence electronics, optronics, communication, unmanned aerial systems and related services.

About HENSOLDT Optronics Pty

HENSOLDT Optronics Pty, a business unit of HENSOLDT South Africa, is renowned for the design, development and manufacture of innovative Electro-Optical (EO) products and systems that now feature prominently in the defence, security, law enforcement and civilian commercial spheres. These systems are employed in airborne, land-based, maritime and border control systems. In September 2019, HENSOLDT South Africa  aligned the organisational structure of its two businesses in South Africa to that of the global Hensoldt Group headquartered in Germany.

Press Contact


Omer Savaf
Executive Director

+966 11 4545877


Chris Haines
Executive Manager: Business Development, Marketing & Sales Optronics Pty

+27 12 674 0342

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