UAE, Israel to Develop Unmanned Military, Commercial Vessels

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The unmanned vessels will be able to semi-autonomously carry out anti-submarine warfare, as well as be used for commercial gas and oil exploration Emirati and Israeli state-owned weapons makers on Thursday signed a strategic agreement in Dubai to jointly design unmanned vessels capable of carrying out anti-submarine warfare.

United Arab Emirates defense conglomerate EDGE and Israel Aerospace Industries announced the partnership on the final day of the biennial Dubai Airshow.

In a joint statement, the firms said they would design the “170 M” advanced modular unmanned service vessels that would be able to be used for both military and commercial purposes. The deal comes after the UAE and Israel last year established diplomatic ties under a deal where the United States also agreed to sell F-35 warplanes to Abu Dhabi. The firms’ partnership will also extend to the development of an advanced drone defense system, IAI announced in March. The Emirati-Israeli unmanned vessels would be able to operate semi- and fully autonomously and carry out missions including submarine detection and anti-submarine warfare.

Commercially, they would be able to be customized for oil and gas exploration.

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“These developments will open many doors for us in local and global markets, military and commercial alike,” EDGE Chief Executive Faisal Al Bannai said in the statement. The statement did not say how much capital had been committed to the project, or when it would enter production.

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