First UAE-made smart loitering munitions unveiled

Photo by Ryan Lim/Khaleej Times
Photo by Ryan Lim/Khaleej Times

Abu Dhabi - The electric unmanned aerial vehicles - QX1, QX2, QX3, and QX4 - were launched on the first day of the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) and the Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX).


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sun 21 Feb 2021, 10:43 PM

The UAE-based Edge Group, with focus on autonomous systems and smart weapons, launched its first family of multirotor loitering munitions in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

The electric unmanned aerial vehicles - QX1, QX2, QX3, and QX4 - were launched on the first day of the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) and the Naval Defence Exhibition (NAVDEX). Additionally, Shadow 50 and Shadow 25, Rash 2 gliding munition kit, as well as new variants of the RW24 range were unveiled.

Faisal Al Bannai, CEO and managing director of EDGE and Ali Al Yafei, CEO of ADASI, expressed great pride at the progress made in autonomous capabilities.

“Right now, drone technology is revolutionising our world with the full potential of unmanned and autonomous capabilities still to be further explored – not just in the military sector, but the commercial sector as well,” Al Bannai said.

“By launching the first UAE-made family of smart loitering drones, EDGE marks a significant milestone as a key technology enabler and in boosting the country’s autonomous capabilities and AI integration. With the future increasingly relying on unmanned systems that provide a higher degree of tactical flexibility, we have invested extensively to fast-track R&D investments in these domains, bringing related products to market with speed.”

The QX1 is a loitering munition with backpack storage and transport, as well as vertical take-off capabilities, on board video feed, fast flight attack speed with a range of 10km and 0.5kg payload mass.

The QX 2 has extended loitering time with payload mass of 1.5kg with a range of 20km. Meanwhile, QX3 is a multirotor with 6kg payload, onboard video surveillance, transportable via light vehicle and payload of up to four precision guided bombs with a range of 40km. And QX4 has vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) fixed wing with 2.5 or 5kg payload with a range of 40km.

The second range of loitering munitions consists of Shadow 50 with a payload of 50kg, which is double of Shadow 25 – a high-speed system equipped with a jet engine and boasts a short reaction time. Delivering high precision strike against fixed targets and advanced guidance capabilities, these UAVs leverage Global Navigation Satellite Systems and can fly using video navigation systems in GPS- denied environments.

Three new additions to the RW-24 range were also launched. RW-24 Seeker is equipped with a thermal automatic seeker that enables greater accuracy of engagement of moving targets and increased functionality within GPS-denied environments. The RW-24 Extended Warhead and RW-24 Extended Range variants increase the payload capacity from 8kg to 13kg, enabling the drone to carry additional fuel or to increase the size of the warhead.

ADASI, the regional leader in autonomous systems and services, on Sunday secured Dh55 million contract to supply Rash 2 to the UAE Armed Forces.

The Rash 2 is a fixed-wing guidance kit for mortars and other in-house designed payloads, capable of gliding in flight and directing munitions to ground targets, available in different sizes to accommodate varying payload capacity, range, and endurance.

Rash 2 was launched on the first day of the IDEX.

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