Isreal, UAE to develop unmanned military, commercial vessels together

Israeli and Emirati state-owned weapons makers sign a deal to jointly design vessels on the final day of Dubai’s Airshow.

On Thursday, Emirati and Israeli state-owned weapons makers signed a strategic agreement in Dubai to jointly design fixed vessels capable of carrying out anti-submarine warfare. United Arab Emirates defense conglomerate EDGE and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced the partnership on the final day of the biennial Dubai Airshow.Β 

During a joint statement, the firms said they would design the “170 M” advanced modular unmanned service vessels that can be used for both military and commercial purposes. In March, Aerospace and defense company IAI said it would jointly develop an advanced drone defense system with EDGE.

What an unmanned vessel can do?

The unmanned vessel will be able to operate semi- and fully independently carry out missions including submarine detection and anti-submarine warfare. The deal comes after the UAE and Israel last year established diplomatic ties under a deal where the US also agreed to sell F-35 warplanes to Abu Dhabi.

EDGE Chief Executive Faisal Al Bannai said in the statement that “These developments will open many doors for us in local and global markets, military and commercial alike,”

It can also use for reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance, mine detection and sweeping, and as a deployment platform for certain types of aircraft. Commercially, it would be able to be customized for oil and gas exploration.

IAI will develop the autonomous control system and integrate payloads to it while Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) will design the platform and integrate the control systems and payload.

The UAE was the first among other Arab countries that normalized ties with Israel last year – neighboring Bahrain did so at the same time.

The statement did not say how much capital had been dedicated to the project, or when it will be produced.

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