As one might expect UAE defence group Edge had a significant presence at the Dubai Airshow this week, launched 11 new aerospace products. It also used the opportunity to publicise its growing capability in unmanned aerial vehicles.
Edge was formed by the Government of Abu Dhabi in 2019 as a public joint stock company and the holding group, for more than 25 different UAE defence contractors and government operations. Its mandate was to ramp up local production to support goals of spending more defence budget at home, and establish the group as a cutting-edge defence technology developer. Four years on, Edge is one of the fastest growing defence groups in the world, expanding its portfolio via both organic development, and acquisition, whilst putting technology at its core.
This year Edge stepped up the pace of its acquisitions. The group took a strategic investment in Universal UTM developer High Lander; a 50% stake in Brazilian smart weapons, systems and platforms specialist, SIATT; 100% of UAE border security systems company Etimad; a majority stake in Estonian Milrem Robotics, which manufactures remote Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGVs) and autonomous Robotic Combat Vehicles (RCVs); 80% stake in Jordan-based MARS, which develops autopilot systems, ground control systems and UAVs; and a 50% stake in Flaris, a Polish company specialising in personal jets.
This month, Edge announced the acquisition of leading Swiss unmanned helicopter developer ANAVIA. The Anavia HT-100 can fly for 250 flight minutes on a single charge with s 65 kilo airload, for various mission profiles including surveillance and reconnaissance, inspection, and mapping and cargo. It provided a centre piece for Edge’s Dubai Airshow exhibit.
Over the past four years, Edge has developed a full suite of UAV options available via its UAV company ADASI. The UAVs include short-range interceptors, long-range loitering munitions, short-range loitering munitions, cargo drones, and an ‘air truck’ able to carry a payload of 500 kilos. The UAV portfolio is part of the defence groups wider strategy to provide a one-stop-shop for many of the needs of global military buyers.
The strategy seems to be working, with interest in Edge’s high-tech wares across the Middle East and Africa, and further afield, such as South America and Asia. The group’s now extensive UAV offering is bound to get more traction during the coming year.
by Carrington Malin