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UAE and Israel companies to work on anti-drone tech

EDGE announces strategic agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries to develop Advanced counter-UAS Solution, according to a statement on Thursday March 11, 2021.

Drones are an increasing threat in the region and globally. Various solutions have been developed by Israel and other companies, including jammers and sensors and methods to down drones that may involve lasers or missiles for larger threats. Drone swarms and also civilian drone quadcopters can all pose a threat. Infrastructure requires more systems to counter drones.

Towards that end "EDGE, the UAE’s advanced technology group for defense and beyond, today agreed upon a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) - Israel's major aerospace and aviation manufacturer, to develop an advanced C-UAS (Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System) Solution tailored to the UAE market, with wider ranging benefits for the MENA region and beyond," a statement said.

The solution will be comprised of detection and identification systems (radar and optics, RF), soft kill solutions (jamming, cyber take over) and hard kill capability (guns, missiles, electromagnetic and laser), the statement says.

His Excellency Faisal Al Bannai, CEO and Managing Director, EDGE, said: “In line with the recent Abraham Accords and the UAE’s newly established cooperation and spirit of collaboration with Israel, EDGE and IAI are joining forces to deal with this growing threat.”

Boaz Levy, President and CEO of IAI, said: "IAI is proud to join forces with EDGE, to provide the UAE and the wider region with a unique and advanced solution in what is a key area of expertise for IAI. We believe that this collaboration will help both companies through the transfer of knowledge and sharing of capabilities. This MoU serves as a stepping-stone for further business and strategic alliances between our countries, and will enhance cooperation for R&D and technological innovation.”

IAI is one of Israel's leading defense companies. It was at IDEX for the first time publicly this year.

"Through leveraging IAI’s proven C-UAS solutions that are applied around the world to detect, identify, classify, and intercept a broad range of threats, EDGE, a young and disruptive company that has recently launched a series of Electronic Warfare solutions at a rapid pace, is leveraging its subsidiary, SIGN4L, a leading provider of electronic warfare services and solutions for national security, to collaborate with the Israeli defence manufacturer to build the tailored C-UAS Solution," a statement says.

Al Bannai noted: “Unmanned Aircraft Systems today are a preferred solution in building agility and resilience to the emerging challenges of asymmetric warfare. As EDGE invests extensively in autonomous capabilities, our co-development of a Counter-UAS in partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries will only help strengthen our advanced technology portfolio, and partnerships in the region and internationally.”

Faisal Al Bannai, CEO and Managing Director, EDGE (Credit: EDGE); Boaz Levy, President and CEO of IAI (Credit: IAI).

Last year IAI and Rafael agreed to work with Group 42 as part of the struggle against Covid. IAI is looking for many joint partnerships in the UAE in the wake of the Abraham Accords.

According to the March 11 statement the new concept is "comprising of a combination of IAI and SIGN4L products, the solution will be comprised of detection and identification systems (radar and optics, RF), soft kill solutions (jamming, cyber take over) and hard kill capability (guns, missiles, electromagnetic and laser) and an advance command and control. The C-UAS is fully autonomous requiring no to limited human. A series of countermeasures, ranging from jamming to drone destruction, will be offered based on the level of threat and the customer's targeted operating environment."

Furthermore, "both SIGN4L and IAI will leverage their technical capabilities to jointly develop the system in response to specific customer needs. Further support will be available via IAI’s partnership with Belgium Advanced Technology Systems, Belgium, which has a local technical and marketing presence in the region."

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