EDGE is an advanced technology group for defence that ranks among the top 25 military suppliers in the world. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: UAE’s defense-tech company, EDGE, signed an agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), to jointly design a first-in-class series of 170 m-USV (modular-unmanned surface vessels) for military and commercial applications.

EDGE will collaborate with the Israeli company to develop USVs. While Abu Dhabi Ship Building Company will design the platform, integrate the control systems and payload, and develop the concept of operations (CONOPS). IAI will develop the autonomous control system and integrate various mission-payloads to the control system units according to the mission requirements.

“We can ensure optimal autonomous operational solutions that minimise risk to human life, address key challenges for various industries,” said Faisal Al Bannai, CEO and Managing Director of EDGE Group. “These developments will open many doors for us in local and global markets, military and commercial alike.”

Comprising advanced sensors, sonars and imaging systems, the USV can operate either remotely, semi-autonomously or autonomously, requiring no human intervention. The vessel will offer unique capabilities in terms of modularity, payload, range, maneuverability, and performance.

Military applications for the USV include intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. It can also be customised for commercial applications such as oceanography, pollution monitoring, oil and gas exploration, and transportation of materials.

Boaz Levy, President and CEO of IAI, said, “This MOU brings together the best technological knowhow – EDGE Group’s and ADSB’ naval and commercial vessel expertise, and IAI’s expertise in autonomous systems, robotics, and artificial intelligence – for a joint Made in UAE effort.”