Qatar protection company to make spy drones at Charleston County airport | Business

A Middle East protection business from Qatar stated it strategies to open up a manufacturing plant in Johns Island to build spy drones for the U.S. and overseas governments.

Barzan Aeronautical desires to create 3 constructions and a 200-place parking location on about 10 acres at 2744 Fort Trenholm Highway, near an deserted runway beside Charleston Executive Airport. Web-site designs demonstrate a 54,000-sq.-foot producing facility, an 18,400-square-foot place of work making and a different composition in close proximity to the parking area with workplaces, a convention place and a classroom.

Barzan designs to commit $14.7 million into the manufacturing facility, which will develop 34 work. Functions are envisioned to begin in late 2022.

“The talented workforce, strategic spot and welcoming professional-growth business weather make Charleston County the ideal place to grow our company,” Barzan CEO John Hardwick reported in a published assertion.

Elliott Summey, CEO and government director of the Charleston County Aviation Authority, identified as the facility “a large step in our mission to attract superior-close aeronautical corporations and jobs,” adding the Charleston region — residence to Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner plant — is “just one of the most significant hubs in aviation, engineering and advanced manufacturing in the United States.”

Steve Dykes, the county’s financial improvement director, explained the Barzan announcement — which had gone under the code title Venture Rose —follows many years of making an attempt “to discover the ideal industrial undertaking that would spur economic development” at the common aviation airport in Johns Island.


Barzan was formed about a month right after Qatari leaders satisfied in early 2018 with South Carolina politicians, enterprise leaders and Boeing Co. executives at the Dreamliner campus in North Charleston. At the time, leaders with the Qatar Expenditure Authority said they ended up wanting for alternatives in the Palmetto Point out.

A white paper distributed to users of Congress by Qatar’s ambassador said Barzan set up its Charleston foundation “to develop out a big armed forces aircraft initiative that is expected to assist many jobs.”

Barzan has produced the Nightwarden drone, an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft that can be armed. It is centered on the Aerosonde drone developed by Providence, R.I.-dependent Textron Systems. Qatar is trying to get to industry its drone to NATO countries, in specific for border manage in sites experiencing substantial immigration, in accordance to the On the web Intelligence web-site.

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The internet site reported that Barzan sought support from Boeing to increase the drone’s payload, its autonomy and its skill to be armed. Hardwick and Christopher Ott, the firm’s legal counsel, toured Europe previously this yr to market the drone. Among the the nations they approached were being Greece, which has demonstrated fascination in beefing up its border surveillance, and Scandinavian international locations close to Russia, On the internet Intelligence mentioned.

Barzan Aeronautical is a division of Barzan Holdings, which is owned by the Qatari Ministry of Protection. In accordance to the Barzan Holdings website, the entity aims “to revolutionize Qatar’s protection and stability sector” through partnerships with worldwide firms.

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Arrive at David Wren at 843-937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_