Edge Group announces X range: 350 sq km unmanned systems testing area

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The Emirati conglomerate Edge Group has launched the X Range, heralded as the Gulf region’s first and largest multi-domain testing site for defense and aerospace systems. Situated on the expansive Abu Al Abyad island, this 350-square-kilometer facility is poised to reshape the region’s testing capabilities landscape.

Testing facilities tailored for excellence

The X Range boasts dedicated areas for various testing needs, including a shoreline for amphibious landing training, shooting ranges, training facilities, and a 3,800-meter runway for large aircraft on the north side. The east side features a drone hangar for storage, drone testing zones, and a directed-energy weapons testing area. With a 1,200-meter runway designed explicitly for unmanned aircraft, the X Range offers a lot of versatility.

International accessibility and usage

Edge Group envisions the X Range as a global testing hub, planning to make it available to international law enforcement and defense customers. The site is set to welcome international clients for exclusive use by the second half of 2024, allowing them to conduct trials and deliver their equipment. The range can be booked for durations ranging from several weeks to six months, ensuring flexibility for diverse testing needs.

Cutting-edge unmanned systems

Edge Group showcased its prowess at the Dubai Airshow by unveiling 11 new systems, including four innovative unmanned aerial systems. The REACH-M, a Medium Altitude Low-Endurance (MALE) UAV, stole the spotlight with its 350kg payload and 24-hour flying capability. The Sinyar, based on the LAR 01 small personal jet design, and the HT-100 multirole unmanned helicopter add further dimensions to Edge Group’s diverse portfolio.

Hunter Series: Arab country’s first swarming drones

Another win for Edge Group is introducing the Hunter series, the first swarming drones to be produced in an Arab country. Scheduled for delivery in 2024, these drones mark a significant milestone in regional drone technology, showcasing the conglomerate’s commitment to pushing boundaries.

Guided munitions and jammer systems

In addition to unmanned systems, Edge Group unveiled a range of guided munitions and jammer systems. The NASEF-20 and NASEF-125 sub-sonic cruise missiles, RASH-3H guided munition, and the MANSUP-ER (National Surface Anti-Ship Missile), co-developed with Brazilian company SIATT, demonstrate Edge Group’s dedication to advancing military capabilities.

Expanding capabilities through acquisitions

Edge Group’s strong presence at the Dubai Airshow is complemented by its strategic acquisitions of non-regional firms. Over the past year, the conglomerate has made moves in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. Miles Chambers, Edge Group’s Vice President of International Business, emphasized the importance of these acquisitions in expanding capabilities and accessing new markets.

While formally announced at the Dubai Airshow, the X Range has already played a crucial role in testing Edge Group’s unmanned systems. The facility, situated on Abu Dhabi Yas Island, is operational, with a 3.8-kilometer runway ready for use. Plans are in place to welcome international clients in the second half of 2024, with bookings available for various durations. Haitham Awinat, Remaya’s Acting CEO, emphasized the center’s military importance due to its flexibility and comprehensiveness.