Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971

2019-02-01

PAL Aerospace Aims to Establish UAE as a Centre of Excellence

With over four decades of operations, PAL Aerospace has continuously built on its experience to evolve into a global leader of airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) solutions. In an interview with Nation Shield, Keith Stoodley, CEO of PAL Aerospace Services Aircraft Maintenance LLC, discusses the company’s in demand and innovative platforms and its vision for the UAE market. Excerpts:
 
Can you tell us about PAL Aerospace?
PAL Aerospace Services Aircraft Maintenance LLC (PAL) is an Emirati-owned company based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, established over 10 years ago. PAL is an approved Offsets company by the Tawazun Economic Council (TEC).
 
With support from the PAL Group of companies, this locally-owned firm is able to deliver a complete Special Mission Aircraft (SMA) solution which includes: Design & Modification, Integration, Special Mission Operations, In-service support and training.
 
PAL’s capabilities are backed by one of the world’s most experienced teams, with extensive backgrounds in both civilian and military aviation environments. What sets PAL apart from the competition is our ability to offer comprehensive and custom solutions for our clients as a platform and equipment agnostic provider.
 
Our vision is to establish a special mission ‘Centre of Excellence’ in the UAE for aircraft modifications, mission systems integration, in-service support, and ISR ownership and operation. Our mission is to capture international export contracts and execute them to the benefit of the shareholders, stakeholders, local economy and the Emirati people.
 
Do you currently support any activities  in the UAE?
PAL Aerospace delivered two state-of-the-art Maritime Patrol Aircrafts (MPA) in 2012. The company since has been providing In-Service Support to the MPA’s (Dash-8 Q300 ISR platforms). These aircrafts fly local and international missions in support of ongoing operations (including for instance, supporting the search of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370). These aircrafts are some of the most sophisticated and technologically advanced MPAs in the world. Working for AMMROC, PAL Aerospace is currently responsible for maintaining those aircrafts tip-to-tail including green aircraft, modifications, mission system onboard as well as ongoing aircrew mentorship and training.
 
What tradeshows do you attend regionally and what innovative technologies do you present at such shows?
PAL Aerospace’s main tradeshows in the UAE are the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) and the Dubai Airshow (DAS). PAL is also engaged in local and regional seminars, conferences and tradeshows such as Bahrain Airshow, GDA Kuwait, Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi, SOFEX in Jordan, among others.
 
PAL is proud to be a trusted choice for customers. This comes with big responsibilities. Technology is evolving at a very rapid pace. PAL strives to be an innovator using the latest technology on the market to provide solutions of a competitive nature in this industry. A prime example of such innovation and technological advancement is its newest product, the “Force Multiplier” ISR platform, which was on static display and inaugurated during the Dubai Airshow 2017.
 
Can you tell us more about the Force Multiplier?
It is a long-range on-demand contract ISR platform for both domestic and international special missions. Owned, modified, operated and maintained by PAL Aerospace, it is available for lease and for operation worldwide. The modified Bombardier Dash-8 Q300 is capable of flying 10+ hours and is equipped with a full mission system suite, which accommodates a diverse range of ISR applications.
 
This is a relatively new concept in the ISR industry, and an investment made by PAL Aerospace that has certainly captured the attention of many countries, government and non-government bodies that may either require a quick ISR solution for short- or long-term periods or to augment the gap between procuring a new ISR asset and receiving it.
 
Clients simply lease the actionable data and experience that they require on this industry leading platform. PAL is confident that our clients will appreciate this approach taken to provide a flexible, proven, reliable and low-risk solution. 
 
This Special Mission platform is equipped with two full mission system suites from both CarteNav Solutions Inc. and Thales, which will accommodate a diverse range of ISR applications utilising the Thales SEARCHMASTER radar and other ISR sensors.
 
Can you tell us more about CarteNav Solutions Inc.?
CarteNav is an international leader in mission management and sensor management software solutions for airborne, land and maritime environments. It offers operationally proven software that dramatically improves the performance of both sensor operators and tactical decision-makers on a wide variety of platforms and client base that includes government, military and commercial customers. 
 
PAL’s mission and vision in the UAE is to support the local economy, engage and employ more nationals and become an international exporter of products, services and technology. One of the goals is to develop “Made in the UAE” mission management software “AIMS”, which will serve unique requirements.
 
What is your nationalisation strategy in the UAE?
PAL is committed to the UAE government’s vision 2021 strategy.  We are actively engaged with TEC to study and utilise options of internships for UAE students, training full-time Emirati employees internationally via our group of companies, workshops with Emirati universities and colleges teaching aviation and maintenance programmes, becoming a member of Emirates Defence Companies Council (EDCC). By engaging with public at tradeshows, PAL strives to become an employer of choice for the Emirati Aerospace and Defence professionals in both technical and corporate settings.
 
What does PAL have for new initiatives in 2019?
PAL is establishing a spare parts depot to serve the UAE and regional markets. While the initial focus of the PAL Spare Parts Depot will be to support military fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft spares, this will be expanded to cover the civil commercial market. The UAE’s advantageous geographical location is ideal for the development of the PAL Spare Parts Depot into a key regional hub. As the scope of aerospace and aviation services is expanded in the mid- to long-term, the PAL Spare Parts Depot will evolve into a Logistics Centre. All necessary registrations, qualifications, permits and quality standards will be acquired accordingly (include AS 9110 & AS 9120 amongst others). This strategic initiative will further solidify PAL’s position in the region as a UAE company, supporting the local economy and the Emirati people in the aerospace and defence sectors.
 

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