Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) today announced that it has signed an agreement with U.A.E’s state-owned EDGE Group to develop anti-drone systems.
“There’s no I in MoU! IAI has declared a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with U.A.E.-based EDGE. Together we will develop systems to guard against UAVs and small drones,” the company tweeted.
This year also marked the first time that Israeli companies took part in a U.A.E. defense exhibition. Tens of Israeli firms participated in this year’s edition of the Arab world’s biggest arms fair, IDEX, in February. This thawing of friendship between the two countries locked in decades of conflict comes after the signing of U.S.-brokered peace deal, late last year.
Comprising of a combination of IAI and EDGE’s SIGN4L products, the Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (C-UAS) 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.
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.
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….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.”
In addition to arms sales to the U.A.E., the new friendship treaty between the U.A.E. and Israel should make the former the starting point for Israeli arms firms to tap the Arab Middle East market.
The U.A.E. on its part is trying to become a weapons manufacturing hub and partnering with Israeli firms should hold it in good stead as it seeks to increase its non-oil revenue. EDGE is being marketed as a one-stop-shop for manufacturing partnerships in the U.A.E.
Abu Dhabi is also hoping to get its hands on F-35 stealth jets and MQ-9 Reapers from the U.S., a deal that had been opposed by Israel to maintain its own qualitative edge, for long. Since many Israel-made weapons can be fitted on to U.S.-made platforms in service with the U.A.E., Israeli companies should be looking forward to lucrative deals from the U.A.E.