AEC partners with L3Harris for rotorcraft simulators

Ahmed Al-Khateeb, chairman of SAMI; Abdul Aziz Al-Duailej, president and CEO of AEC; Dr. Andreas Schwer, CEO of SAMI, and Lenny Genna, president of L3Harris Military Training, were present at the signing ceremony.
Updated 12 September 2019

AEC partners with L3Harris for rotorcraft simulators

Advanced Electronics Company, a Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) company, has signed a teaming agreement with L3Harris Technologies to collaborate on different rotorcraft simulators within Saudi Arabia. The agreement was signed during their participation in the Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2019 exhibition, which kicked off on Wednesday at ExCeL London.
Ahmed Al-Khateeb, chairman of SAMI; Abdul Aziz Al-Duailej, president and CEO of AEC; Dr. Andreas Schwer, CEO of SAMI; and Lenny Genna, president of L3Harris Military Training, were present at the signing ceremony.
Al-Duailej said: “We are pleased to partner with L3Harris Technologies to further our credentials in rotorcraft simulation as part of our military and defense capacity-building efforts. The agreement will allow AEC to leverage the unmatched expertise of two major industry leaders combined to deliver on Saudi Arabia’s ambitious goals.”

Genna said: “L3Harris and AEC are expanding our more than nine-year relationship to bring advanced training and simulation technologies to the Royal Saudi Armed Forces fleet. This collaboration will help to enhance flight safety and operational performance, and improves cost efficiency.”
The new partnership between AEC and L3Harris Technologies builds on a joint venture agreement between SAMI and L3 Technologies during the Paris Air Show earlier this year.


Whale shark hot spot in Red Sea offers new insights

An international team of KAUST researchers studied whale shark movement patterns near the Shib Habil reef (Arabic for ‘Rope Reef’), a known whale shark hotspot in the Red Sea on the Saudi Arabian coast.
Updated 18 November 2019

Whale shark hot spot in Red Sea offers new insights

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), whale sharks are considered endangered, which means the species has suffered a population decline of more than 50 percent in the past three generations. The whale shark is only two classifications from being extinct. Improvements and conservation efforts are in place, but there is still a long way to
go to protect these gentle underwater giants.
An international team of researchers, led by marine scientists at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and including researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US, has performed an extensive study of whale shark movement and residency using a combination of three scientific techniques: Visual census, acoustic monitoring and satellite telemetry.
Their six-year study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, tracked long-term whale shark movement patterns near the Shib Habil reef (Arabic for “Rope Reef”), a known whale shark hotspot in the Red Sea. The team monitored a total of 84 different sharks over a six-year period, and their results shed light on whale shark behaviors,
which could help to inform conservation efforts.
“The study takes years of passive acoustic monitoring data and combines it with previously published visual census and satellite telemetry data from the same individual sharks. The combined dataset is used to characterize the aggregation’s seasonality, spatial distribution, and patterns of dispersal,” said Dr. Michael Berumen, director of the Red Sea Research Center and professor of marine science at KAUST.

HIGHLIGHT

An international team of researchers, led by marine scientists at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and including researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US, has performed an extensive study of whale shark movement and residency.

They found the aggregation to be highly seasonal, with sharks being most abundant in April and May, and that many of the sharks returned to the hot spot regularly year after year. The study also shows roughly equal numbers of male and female sharks using the site, something that could be unique to Shib Habil. These characteristics indicate that this site may serve an important function for the wider Indian Ocean population of this rare and endangered species.
“Using the combined dataset, we can show somewhat conclusively that the aggregation meets all of the criteria of a shark nursery. This is particularly relevant given that Shib Habil is the only site in the Indian Ocean to regularly attract large numbers of juvenile females. Growing late-stage adolescents of both sexes into full adulthood is critical for sustaining a species. Management of critical habitats like Shib Habil and other aggregations will likely be vital for future whale shark conservation,” said KAUST graduate Dr. Jesse Cochran, lead author of the study.
There is a combination of factors contributing to the decrease of whale shark populations world-wide, including targeted fishing, bycatch losses due to fisheries, vessel strikes from boat traffic, marine debris, and pollution.