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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 9 March 2021

Defence conglomerate Edge unveils UAE-made smart drones

Group companies Adasi and Nimr also showcase armed robotic vehicles and unmanned ground units

Defence conglomerate Edge on Sunday unveiled UAE made smart loitering drones during Idex. Victor Besa / The National.
Defence conglomerate Edge on Sunday unveiled UAE made smart loitering drones during Idex. Victor Besa / The National.

UAE conglomerate Edge unveiled smart loitering drones on Sunday as the country continues to strengthen its defence manufacturing capabilities.

Another Edge subsidiary, Adasi, also showcased a range of unmanned robotic armoured ground vehicles.

“Through launching the first UAE-made family of smart loitering drones, Edge marks a significant milestone as a key technology enabler and in boosting the country’s autonomous capabilities and artificial intelligence integration,” said chief executive and managing director Faisal Al Bannai.

“With the future increasingly relying on unmanned systems that provide a higher degree of tactical flexibility, we have invested extensively to fast-track research and development investment in these domains, bringing related products to market with speed,” said Mr Al Bannai.

The new QX range of smart loitering drones. Courtesy of Edge
The new QX range of smart loitering drones. Courtesy of Edge

The QX family of loitering drones includes the QX1, the QX2 and the QX3 – micro, mini and small unmanned aerial vehicles, respectively – as well as the QX4.

The precision-guided systems use sophisticated AI algorithms to lock on to targets and strike. They have a radial accuracy of one metre and can be operated in any environment, the company said.

A second range of loitering drones, the Shadow 50 and the Shadow 25, have advanced guidance capabilities and a high-precision strike rate against fixed targets.

These UAVs use global navigation satellite systems and can fly using video-navigation systems in environments in which GPS is blocked.

Edge also showcased the Rash 2 “fixed-wing guidance kit for mortars and other in-house designed payloads" that can glide and "direct munitions to ground targets”.

Adasi secured a Dh55 million ($14.9m) contract to supply the Rash 2 kit to the UAE Armed Forces.

The company also unveiled a four-door armed robotic vehicle known as Ajban and two unmanned ground vehicles, the Scorpio-M and the Scorpio-S.

The Ajban was developed alongside Edge Group company Nimr and can be operated by a ground control station with a communication range of 12 kilometres.

The Scorpio-M and the Scorpio-S are small self-driving ground vehicles that communicate with an unmanned control station within a range of 3km.

“Automation is a strategic priority for the Edge Group and the launch of three autonomous systems by Adasi – with additional collaboration with Nimr – is testament to our collective focus, capability and determination,” said Mr Al Bannai in a separate statement.

The new Ajban armed robotic vehicle made by Edge group companies Adasi and Nimr. Courtesy of Edge 
The new Ajban armed robotic vehicle made by Edge group companies Adasi and Nimr. Courtesy of Edge 

The UAE aims to be an industry leader in AI and the development of applications for unmanned systems.

Minister of State for Defence Affairs Mohammed Al Bowardi said last year that the land, air and sea technology could be used to conduct surveillance, regulate traffic, secure urban and remote areas and battle forest fires.

Updated: February 23, 2021 09:25 AM

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