EDGE, one of the world’s leading advanced technology and defence groups, and Calidus, a UAE-based provider of next-generation aeronautical and land systems, signed an MoU at Dubai Airshow to integrate EDGE precision-guided munition (PGM) and guided-glide weapon (GGW) solutions onto the B-250 light attack aircraft, and other Calidus platforms. The MoU marks a significant effort by both companies towards growing the UAE’s aerospace industry, while paving the way for future UAE-made solutions. The smart weapons designated for integration, from EDGE entity HALCON, a regional leader in the design and production of guided weapons systems and beyond, include the DESERT STING family of GGWs, and THUNDER family of cost-effective, short-range PGMs.
Khalifa Murad Alblooshi, CEO of Calidus, said: “We are proud and excited to collaborate with EDGE in the integration of the smart weapons onto the technologically advanced B-250 light attack aircraft, that is completely designed, developed and manufactured by UAE national company based in Abu Dhabi, Calidus. Which also offers land-based solutions and products. The B-250 light attack aircraft is a leading-edge missionized digital aircraft, enabling an easy deep integration to the smart weapons into the aircraft mission system. This deep integration allows for the execution of various strike mission in real time.”
Hamad Al Marar, President of EDGE Group’s Missiles & Weapons cluster, said: “We are proud to work with Calidus on this integration initiative, and to provide high technology smart weapons to B-250 end-users. The opportunity will offer a range of versatile precision strike solutions, and complement the B-250’s multirole capabilities. We look forward to presenting a dynamic and advanced armed light attack aircraft, made in the UAE, and to enhancing our collaboration with Calidus in the future.”
The Calidus B-250 is a single-engine turbo-prop, tandem-seat, light attack aircraft that features multi-role capabilities for missions such as close air support, persistent air support, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, counterinsurgency, and basic and advanced training. Its structure is constructed entirely of carbon fiber, thus making it much lighter than its competitors. It has 7 hard points for placing weapons as well as EO/IR. It has Pro Line Fusion II avionics systems supplied by the American company Rockwell Collins. The B-250 is a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a retractable tricycle landing gear. It has an enclosed cockpit with two Martin-Baker ejection seats in tandem. In 2019, 24 aircraft were ordered by the United Arab Emirates Air Force at the 2019 Dubai Airshow.