ADASI, a company within the EDGE portfolio, announced the launch of its tactical QX-5 and QX-6 unmanned aerial vehicles on the first day of the Dubai Airshow this week. Both products are designed and build by ADASI in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and are in the final stages of development.
The QX-5 is an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAV that has extended endurance of 16 hours while carrying a payload up to 55 pounds (25 kilograms). The company states it has advanced autopilot and communication systems.
The QX-6 is also a VTOL UAV designed to perform missions autonomously and is primarily for cargo transport into inaccessible locations delivering four hours of endurance with a cargo up to 330lbs (150kg); it can also carry cargo sling loaded if required.
ADASI was created in 2007 to provide maintenance for systems operating within the UAE Armed Forces. A requirement arose for some ‘in-house’ developments and the company began its growth. The management wanted something feasible that they could take further in capability.
The UAE Armed Forces was an early test customer for Schiebel’s S-100 Camcopter, and also tested aerostats, but the requirements of the UAE’s Armed Forces have increased and diversified over the last decade.
“From a small beginning, ADASI grew to provide tangible products in the market and we started pushing the borders of what we could develop a little further,” said ADASI’s Mohamad Abdulla Al Nuaimi, senior business development manager.
“EDGE’s mission is to be a leader in technology, and we decided that ADASI would provide the latest technology to our market,” explained Al Nuaimi. “EDGE invests in frontline technologies. The customer is always demanding and at ADASI this has encouraged to increase our product portfolio.”
“If you look at the market for defence systems at the moment, UAVs are being used much more than UGVs [Unmanned Ground Vehicles], but in reality we are developing a wide range of technologies. Our experience and focus at the moment are on UAVs as they are being widely used.” However, he added that it will take some time for UGVs and unmanned maritime vehicles to increase their presence in the market, but nevertheless investment continues across ADASI’s technology range.
“In the short term our customer focus is on your region [the Gulf states in particular], and as part of EDGE we are building our strength in UAE technology and satisfaction of our local customers,” said Al Nuaimi. The wider focus expands to the MENA region [Middle East North Africa] and then the wider international market. But there is no point in investing heavily in a certain product then keeping its availability within a certain geographical location.
The QX family of products is developed within ADASI, but also is collaboration with other EDGE Group companies. The EDGE Group is divided into five technology clusters: Platforms & Systems; Weapons & Missiles; Cyber Defence; Electronic Warfare & Intelligence; and Mission Support. This allows extensive cross support in technological development.
by Andrew Drwiega