UAE, Israel to cooperate on developing unmanned surface vessels

Middle East Monitor  /  November 20, 2021

On the final day of the Dubai Air Show, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israeli firms on Thursday signed a deal to cooperate on developing unmanned surface vessels (USVs).

According to The Jerusalem Post, the parties to the deal are Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and EDGE, an Emirati advanced tech company.

The Jerusalem Post reported EDGE Group Managing Director and CEO Faisal Al-Bannai expressing: “It is an important milestone for EDGE to forge collaborations with leading defence players such as IAI, to strengthen our advanced technology portfolio.”

Meanwhile, IAI President and CEO Boaz Levy announced: “We are proud to join hands with EDGE in this endeavour, which is another step toward our growing efforts and partnership in the region.”

The president of the Israeli firm stressed: “Localization and cooperation are central and critical to our UAE strategy’s success.”

Regarding the deal’s details, The Jerusalem Post reported that the USVs to be developed by IAI and EDGE would be able to operate remotely, semi-autonomously or completely autonomously.

It also disclosed the firms stating that the USVs will offer: “Unique capabilities in terms of modularity, payload, range, maneuverability and performance.”

The firms also divulged that they would be able to be used for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, mine detection and sweeping, and as a deployment platform for certain types of aircraft.

In addition, there is a commercial use for the USVs as they could be customized for oil and gas exploration, among other capabilities.

The UAE was one of several Arab states that signed peace accords with Israel last year.

UAE Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed explained that he decided to make peace with Israel to send a clear message of peace to the world.

“Gains of peace are much bigger than the losses,” he shared. “The UAE is eyeing bigger peace which serves the public interest.”