Idex 2023: UAE's defence conglomerate Edge presents 11 new autonomous products

Systems carry out missions involving tactical intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, logistics support and combat operations

UAE's Edge presents 11 new autonomous products at Idex

UAE's Edge presents 11 new autonomous products at Idex
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Defence conglomerate Edge revealed a line-up of 11 new unmanned and autonomous products and systems during the opening day of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex 2023), in line with the UAE's expanding manufacturing sector.

The new product range covers a wide variety of missions, including tactical intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, logistics support and combat operations, Edge said in a statement.

The Made in UAE portfolio of products can be used across air, land and maritime combat environments, the company said.

"Today marks the culmination of extensive investment in industry-leading companies, innovation and rapid product development to significantly expand our offerings and ensure our local and global customers can access the most cutting-edge solutions in the market," said Mansour AlMulla, chief executive and managing director of Edge Group.

“Strengthening sovereign capabilities and bringing globally competitive products to market are strategic priorities for Edge and launching 11 new solutions in this critical domain reflects our steadfast commitment to international security and prosperity.”

The move comes as the UAE forges ahead with its Operation 300bn strategy, which seeks to increase the contribution of the local industrial sector to the country's gross domestic product to Dh300 billion ($81.68 billion) by 2031, from Dh133 billion in 2021.

In June, the UAE's Ministry of industry and Advanced Technology, Emirates Development Bank (EDB) and Edge Group signed an agreement to boost manufacturing in the defence sector. Under the agreement, EDB will provide financing of up to Dh1 billion to accelerate the industrialisation of Edge’s offerings, while the ministry will support Edge to expand global exports of more than 40 domestically manufactured products and services.

Idex will take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from Monday to Friday.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has welcomed visitors to the Idex, the Naval Defence and Maritime Security Exhibition (Navdex) 2023, and the International Defence Conference (IDC).

Sheikh Mohammed said that Idex, since its launch in 1993, has been highlighting the UAE's journey in the defence industry and contributing to its growth.

"The high level of participation by a wide range of countries, leading companies, and decision-makers in Idex and Navdex 2023 serves as a testament to the importance of the two exhibitions and their role in strengthening the events sector, which has become one of the major contributors to the country’s national economy," Sheikh Mohammed said.

"Such events provide a platform for sharing knowledge and expertise, showcasing the latest technologies, and building partnerships."

Within Edge's new portfolio is Jeniah, an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) with an extended range and capable of operating at high speeds, providing a high-tech and autonomous means of carrying out military operations. Displayed alongside the UCAV is its Ground Control Station, which is designed to monitor and command the system.

Another addition is the Airtruck, designed for strategic logistics support such as supplying troops in remote locations, medical evacuation and reconnaissance — all with a payload of 500kg and a maximum range of 360km at a cruising speed of 120km per hour.

Designed to accelerate product development and reduce time to market, the Instrumented Testing Platform is a fixed-wing UAV that provides for in-house flight testing of air-to-surface munitions.

Edge also showcased two unmanned traffic management (UTM) solutions following a strategic investment in UTM provider High Lander.

Universal UTM offers real-time, autonomous monitoring of flight plans and drone activity, with the capability to approve or deny flights, suggest alternative routes and react to mid-flight changes.

Also displayed is the interactive Mission Control Platform that allows users to automate and control a drone fleet to execute operations. It also offers real-time airspace control.

Following the acquisition of a majority stake in Estonia-based Milrem Robotics last week, Edge showcased three of its unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). THeMIS Combat UGV provides high-precision, direct-fire support for manoeuvre units, while THeMIS Observe UGV is built for tactical reconnaissance missions with a variety of sensors for day and night operations.

Serving as a wingman to mechanised units, the Type X remote control vehicle (RCV) can be quickly used alongside traditional infantry fighting vehicles to provide firepower on the battlefield.

Edge also presented an 8x8 Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) concept, Nimr RCV, which is built for tactical mobility, high performance, manoeuvrability and speed, it said.

In terms of maritime products, Edge's 170 Detector USV can be configured for manned or unmanned operations to perform surface warfare, surveillance and mapping missions for naval and civilian forces, it said. At 17 metres in length, it can operate for four hours in silent electric propulsion mode or at speeds up to 40 knots in diesel mode.

First day of Idex - in pictures

Updated: February 21, 2023, 12:28 PM