EDGE Group, an advanced technology company for defence and beyond, today entered a strategic agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Israel’s major aerospace and aviation manufacturer, to jointly design a first-in-class series of 170 m-USV (modular-unmanned surface vessels) for the entire range of military and commercial applications. EDGE is leveraging its entity, ADSB, the regional leader in the design, new build, repair, maintenance, refit and conversion of naval and commercial vessels, to collaborate with the Israeli defence company to develop the state-of-the-art USVs. While ADSB will design the platform, integrate the control systems and payload, and develop the concept of operations (CONOPS), IAI will develop the autonomous control system and integrate various mission-payloads to the control system units according to the mission requirements.
Boaz Levy, President and CEO of IAI, said: “We are proud to join hands with EDGE in this endeavor, which is another step towards our growing efforts and partnership in the region. This MOU brings together the best technological knowhow from both companies – EDGE Group’s and ADSB’ naval and commercial vessel expertise, and IAI’s expertise in autonomous systems, robotics, and artificial intelligence – for a joint Made in UAE effort, maximizing both companies business opportunities and growth.”
His Excellency Faisal Al Bannai, CEO and Managing Director of EDGE Group, said: “It is an important milestone for EDGE to forge collaborations with leading defence players such as IAI to strengthen our advanced technology portfolio. Through this strategic alliance, we can ensure optimal autonomous operational solutions that minimise risk to human life, address key challenges for various industries, and enable a secure future for all. These developments will open many doors for us in local and global markets, military and commercial alike.”
Comprising advanced sensors, sonars and imaging systems that are integrated into a unified command and control system, the USV can operate either remotely, semi-autonomously or autonomously, requiring no human intervention. Designed to suit all customers’ requirements, the bespoke vessel will offer unique capabilities in terms of modularity, payload, range, maneuverability, and performance. Military applications for the USV include intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, border and littoral zone patrol, maritime security operations, mine detection and sweeping, submarine detection and anti-submarine warfare, deployment platform for VTOL vehicles and can also be customised for commercial applications such as oceanography, pollution monitoring, oil and gas exploration, transportation of materials and liquids, search and rescue, fire-fighting and first interventions.