THE GULF Co-operation Council (GCC) states have revived a plan to integrate their respective air-defence ground environments. US defence contractor Hughes has again been contracted to study the requirement.

Hughes originally carried out the six-nation GCC-funded study into integrating the countries' stand-alone air-defence networks in 1988. This work, however, fell into abeyance. The GCC states include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Robert O'Rourke, Hughes executive vice-president for the Middle East, says that the GCC has funded the company to update the study, which it will complete this year.

Hughes is developing national air-defence networks for Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The Kuwaiti system has already been delivered, while Saudi Arabia's $1 billion Peace Shield air-defence ground-environment system will be delivered by the end of this year.

O'Rourke says that if the GCC eventually does decide to go ahead with any level of integrated regional air-defence environment, it will take a minimum of two years to implement.

Source: Flight International