Dubai: Abu Dhabi’s defense company EDGE on Sunday launched a new family of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX).
“Right now, drone technology is revolutionising our world with the full potential of unmanned and autonomous capabilities still to be further explored – not just in the military sector, but the commercial sector too,” said Faisal Al Bannai, CEO & Managing Director, EDGE.
The drones, in this case, are loitering munitions – a weapon system category in which the aerial vehicle loiters around the target area for some time, searches for targets, and attacks once a target is located.
“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 AI integration,” said 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 R&D investments in these domains, bringing related products to market with speed,” he added.
The QX family of loitering munitions comprises four products: QX-1, a micro-UAV, QX-2, a mini-UAV, QX-3, a small UAV, and QX-4,which features an impressive vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) fixed wing. The second range of loitering munitions consists of Shadow 50 and Shadow 25. As the name implies, Shadow 50 can carry a payload of 50kg –exactly double its counterpart. Shadow 25 is a high-speed system equipped witha jet engine and boasts a short reaction time.
Armed forces deal
Also launched on Day 1 of IDEX, the Rash 2 is a fixed-wing guidance kit for mortars and other in-house designed payloads, capable ofgliding in flight and directing munitions to ground targets, available indifferent sizes to accommodate varying payload capacity, range, and endurance.
Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments (ADASI), part of the Platforms & Systems cluster within EDGE, has secured a Dh55 million contract to supply Rash 2 to the UAE Armed Forces, marking the first order of the newly launched product, said EDGE in a statement.