UAE’s Edge to collaborate with Israel on advanced counter unmanned aircraft system

Edge subsidiary SIGN4L will partner with Israel Aerospace Industries on the project

Faisal Al Bannai, chief executive of Edge. The company will collaborate with Israel to develop an advanced counter unmanned aircraft system. Saher Mousa / Edge
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UAE defence conglomerate Edge is partnering with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to develop an advanced Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (C-UAS) that can detect and intercept a broad range of threats.

Edge subsidiary SIGN4L, which is specialises in developing electronic warfare systems, will collaborate with the Israeli manufacturer on the new project, according to a statement from the two companies on Thursday.

“Both SIGN4L and IAI will leverage their technical capabilities to develop the system in response to specific customer needs,” the two companies said. “Further support will be available via IAI’s partnership with Belgium Advanced Technology Systems, which has a technical and marketing presence in the region.”

Comprising advanced 3D radar, communications intelligence and electro-optic technologies, the C-UAS is fully autonomous and does not require human intervention. It also has other advanced systems and capabilities including spoofing and jamming.

Edge specialises in building advanced technology for weapons systems, cyber protection and electronic warfare with 25 companies under its umbrella. This includes developing drones, UAVs and smart defence equipment.

“It is a defining moment for us to join forces with IAI,” Faisal Al Bannai, Edge chief executive and managing director, said. “As Edge invests extensively in autonomous capabilities, our co-development of a Counter-UAS will help strengthen our advanced technology portfolio.”

The UAE and Israel normalised relations in September and have since concluded a number of agreements in various sectors ranging from aviation to finance. Bilateral trade between the UAE and Israel is expected to reach $4 billion a year, according to the Etihad Credit Insurance.

The agreement “serves as a stepping-stone for further business and strategic alliances between our countries, and will enhance cooperation for R&D and technological innovation,” Boaz Levy, president and chief executive of IAI, said.

Edge, formed in 2019 plans to boost revenue by more than 15 per cent this year with a fresh product line-up and expansion into new export markets, Mr Al Bannai told The National in an interview last month.

The company, which recorded sales of $5bn last year, will target markets in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and south America to boost growth.