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UAE, Israel to Jointly Develop New Unmanned Surface Vessel

Defense manufacturers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel will collaborate to develop an unmanned surface vessel for anti-submarine warfare.

During the Dubai Airshow 2021, Emirati defense conglomerate EDGE and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced a new partnership to design and produce the “170 M” advanced modular unmanned surface vessel for both military and commercial use.

The “170 M” will be equipped with advanced sensors, sonar, and imaging systems. It will be designed to operate remotely, semi-autonomously, or autonomously for various missions, including submarine detection, surveillance, intelligence, and reconnaissance. It could also be modified for oil and gas exploration.

IAI will be responsible for developing an autonomous control system for the vessel, while the Abu Dhabi Ship Building Company will design and integrate all control systems and payloads.

“These developments will open many doors for us in local and global markets, military and commercial alike,” EDGE Chief Executive Faisal Al Bannai told Reuters.

Advanced Anti-Drone System Development

Earlier this year, EDGE and IAI signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop an advanced system to detect, identify, classify, and intercept a broad range of drone threats.

The Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (C-UAS) will feature advanced radar, optics, and radio frequencies for improved detection and identification. It will also be equipped with guns, missiles, laser devices, and an advanced command and control console.

The C-UAS will be designed to operate various drone countermeasures autonomously depending on the threat detected.

“We believe that this collaboration will help both companies through the transfer of knowledge and sharing of capabilities,” IAI CEO Boaz Levy told The Times of Israel.

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