EDGE Group entities announced contracts worth approximately AED 6 billion ($1.6 million) to supply loitering munitions, fast patrol boats and advanced precision-guided glide munitions to UAE Armed Forces at the 2023 International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX).
Halcon, an EDGE Group entity, which produces guided weapon systems, announced a contract worth AED 4.7 billion with the UAE Armed Forces to supply its DESERT STING 25 (DS-25), lightweight, air-to-surface precision-guided munition, which can be deployed on multiple racks on aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Saeed Al Mansoori, senior vice president of Advanced Concepts, a business unit of EDGE, said the DS-25 is a precision munition with an effective standoff range and capable of being integrated on a wide range of aircraft types. “This contract will provide the UAE Armed Forces with flexibility in their air strike operations,” he explained.
HALCON is developing sovereign defence capabilities in line with the UAE’s “Make it in the Emirates” initiative. Additionally, the DS-25 will be produced at its manufacturing facilities which Al Mansoori said exemplifies the UAE government’s Industry 4.0 initiative.
Advanced Concepts is a new business unit within EDGE focused on accelerating the rapid development of critical innovation projects from concept definition and technical feasibility stage (TRL6+) to detailed engineering design.
In another deal worth AED 1.1 billion, HALCON will deliver its HUNTER 2-S (swarming), HUNTER 5 and HUNTER 10 loitering munitions to the UAE Armed Forces. HALCON’s HUNTER family of fixed-wing loitering munitions are designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and aerial strike missions. The HUNTER 2-S is an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that features advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to perform coordinated missions in a swarm.
The HUNTER 2-S, 5 and 10 are transported in vehicle-mounted containers. The deal will mark a significant milestone for EDGE, as it includes the first UAE-made defence solution to integrate advanced AI. “The cutting-edge AI of the HUNTER 2-S and autonomous capabilities of the HUNTER 5 and 10 will be a powerful force multiplier for the UAE Armed Forces,” said Al Mansoori, “providing close aerial support and aerial strike capabilities.”
Other EDGE Group entity, Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB), announced it had been awarded an AED 175 million contract to build its 120 Fast Inshore Platform (FIP) and 160 Inshore Tactical Engagement Platform (ITEP) for the Critical Infrastructure & Coastal Protection Authority (CICPA).
Announced at the Naval Defence & Maritime Security Exhibition (NAVDEX 2023) which is held alongside IDEX, the deal marks the first local order of the company’s UAE-made vessels which are designed for both near-shore rescue and extended search and rescue (SAR) missions.
Designed and built by ADSB in the UAE, the 120 FIP and 160 ITEP vessels deliver power and performance for high-speed pursuit, fast interception, and a diverse range of general patrol missions.