Abu Dhabi-based Edge begins delivery of home-grown electronic warfare products to international buyers

CEO Faisal Al Bannai said the conglomerate completed 20 major sales deal in the past 18 months



Edge Group CEO Faisal Al Bannai. Photo: Supplied
Edge Group CEO Faisal Al Bannai. Photo: Supplied
by

Rasha Abu Baker

Published: Mon 15 Nov 2021, 6:43 PM

Last updated: Mon 15 Nov 2021, 7:13 PM

Edge Group has completed 20 major sales deal in the last 18 months and deliveries are being made to countries across the world, including Europe and the United States, its CEO Faisal Al Bannai said.

Speaking to Khaleej Times on the sideline of the Dubai Airshow, Al Bannai explained that the Abu Dhabi-based conglomerate, which celebrated its second anniversary recently, has been able to develop and launch new products in record time and delivering to the customers.

“Today, we have a number of smart weapons that are completely developed with indigenous technology. We also have a number of electronic warfare products such as jammers for IED road-explosives, counter drone solutions and jammers for missiles, among others. We have not only developed and launched these products, but now supplying to the customers.”

“We have completed major international sales deals with customers in Africa, Asia, Middle East, the GCC, Europe and the US. Few more deals are in the pipeline and will be announced in due course of time,” he said.

Edge is a government-owned company that was launched in 2019 to position the country as a global player in advanced technology, address the threat of hybrid warfare and streamline the local defence industry.

Al Bannai said that the key focus area for Edge is to be “an advanced technology company that specializes in the defence sector, not the other way around.”

“What this means is that we are looking to launch advanced technologies at a much rapid pace and in a much more agile way where others are taking too long,” he explained.

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In the last two years, Edge has launched 20 products and more than 40 are currently being developed. “We will be a key player in autonomous [industry]; a key player in smart weapons. When Edge was created many of these weapons did not exist,” he said.

At the Dubai Airshow, Edge will launch 13 products, with the main focus on autonomous capabilities. “There are a number of new autonomous products, whether used for logistics, surveillance or loitering munition. At the same time, we announced a few products in electronic warfare. In general, the big focus on the airshow is around autonomous, unmanned vehicles and electronic warfare products,” Al Bannai said.

The CEO noted that apart from its mission to strengthen the country’s sovereign capability, Edge aims to be “an anchor player in the knowledge economy and an exporter of technology.”

“We are still young, but the aim is to dramatically grow our export business from a technology side. We’re not playing in the commodity business, not playing in the low-cost generic business. We are really trying to compete where we are talking on advanced products and technology, products that are on the edge and that’s the field we are trying to create,” he said.

“I think over the next few years you will see that UAE will be exporting more technology-oriented products where I can definitely see Edge being a big player in that area,” he said, adding that the quality of these UAE products will speak for themselves and that Edge competes to sell in a market of major international players.

He added that Edge’s UAV Shadow range is a very strong product line that he believes has a lot of potential to grow internationally.

“I think autonomous, the QX range is also a big one. I think anything to do with our autonomic warfare, whether our jammers, intercept systems are quite strong. The areas that we are playing in everything to do with autonomous, electronic warfare, and everything to do with smart weapons. These are the areas we want to be a key global player and compete globally,” he said.

“There is no favouritism in export business. We are competing on specs, and on price and on quality, so when you are selling your autonomous drones that we sold, or selling electronic warfare products, we are competing with everyone, or when we sold our vehicles, we competed with players from the US, Canada and other countries. If you get an export sale, it means your product can compete in the international market.”

He concluded by saying that the conglomerate also wants to become an anchor player for building local capacities and talent.

“Today, around 45 per cent of Edge engineers are Emirati nationals, with women making up a third. Over 60 per cent of the company CEO’s are UAE nationals, and out of the group’s 13,000 employees, 30 per cent are Emirati. So we are really growing the local capacity in this regard,” he said.

— rasha@khaleejtimes.com


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