UAE unveils its self-made family of smart loitering drones

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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EDGE Drone
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UAE’s largest defense conglomerate, EDGE has introduced smart loitering drones at International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2021) as the country continues to improve its defense manufacturing capabilities.

The introduced QX family of loitering drones includes the QX1, the QX2, and the QX3, micro, mini, and small unmanned aerial vehicles, respectively, as well as the QX4.

The company said that the precision-guided systems (use) sophisticated AI algorithms to lock on to targets and strike with a radial accuracy of one meter and can be operated in any environment.

Faisal Al Bannai
Faisal Al Bannai

“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 artificial intelligence integration. With the future increasingly relying on unmanned systems that provide a higher degree of tactical flexibility, we have invested extensively to fast-track research and development investment in these domains, bringing related products to market with speed.”

The Shadow 50 and the Shadow 25, the second range of loitering drones, have advanced guidance capabilities and a high-precision strike rate against fixed targets. These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) utilize global satellite navigation systems and can fly in areas where GPS is blocked using video navigation systems.

Edge has also displayed the Rash 2 “fixed-wing guidance kit for mortars and other in-house designed payloads” that can glide and “direct munitions to ground targets”. Edge subsidiary, Adasi has secured a $14.9 million (Dh55 million) worth contract to supply the Rash 2 kit to the UAE Armed Forces.

“Automation is a strategic priority for the Edge Group and the launch of three autonomous systems by Adasi – with additional collaboration with Nimr – is testament to our collective focus, capability, and determination,” stated Mr. Al Bannai in a statement.

The UAE aims to be an industry leader in AI and the production of applications for unmanned systems. Last Year, Minister of State for Defense Affairs, Mohammed Al Bowardi has stated that land, air, and sea technology can be used to conduct surveillance, regulate traffic, secure urban and remote areas, and battle forest fires.

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