At the IDEX international weapons exhibition in UAE, local conglomerate EDGE presented 11 new unmanned and autonomous devices for intelligence and striking missions. On the first day of the IDEX 2023 (International Defense Exhibition and Conference), the Emirati defence group, which currently consists of 20 distinct technology and security firms, unveiled a broad range of products developed in the UAE (United Arab Emirates), including numerous cargo delivery aircraft.
For instance, the rotary-wing “Airtruck” was designed for strategic logistical assistance, such as supplying troops in difficult-to-reach areas and conducting reconnaissance and medical evacuation. Its cruise speed is 120 kilometres per hour, and it has a payload of 500 kg and a maximum range of 360 km.
IDEX unveiled a broad range of products developed in the UAE including numerous cargo delivery aircraft
Over the last decade, many armies, particularly those in the West, have generally adopted a wait-and-see strategy with regard to logistics drones, rushing to purchase unmanned combat and surveillance aircraft in their place. Nonetheless, the appeal of modern resupply and combat evacuation techniques that keep human pilots out of harm’s way has persisted. A new crop of systems now claims to be prepared for deployment.
The construction of a Black Hawk Helicopter that is completely autonomous has allowed the American army to test the technology during the past year. Several companies and groups have dispatched cargo drones to support the Ukrainian military during Russia’s war on that country. The UK has sent the Malloy T150 quadcopter, which can carry big loads, while the US-based Spartacus Hurricane search-and-rescue drone manufacturer Aquiline is also claimed to have sent forty of these drones.
A new crop of systems now claims to be prepared for deployment
Another interesting design on display was the QX6-50, a rotary-wing drone that is the newest model in EDGE’s QX line and is capable of transporting payloads of 50 kg over distances of up to 200 km. The company also displayed Jeniah, a brand-new unmanned combat aerial vehicle with a maximum ammunition payload of 480 kg and a top speed of 1,000 km/h. The largest foreign investment in the defence sector of Tallinn was made by EDGE when it recently acquired a majority stake in the Estonian firm Milrem Robotics. Following this deal, the Emirati company displayed two of its state-of-the-art UGVs at the exhibition: the THeMIS Combat, designed for tactical reconnaissance missions, and the THeMIS Monitor, which supports manoeuvre units with high-precision, direct fire.
Sortio Cargo, located in Torino, Italy, is another emerging business that EDGE has expressed interest in. The company is based in Italy and designs and produces drones for quick cargo transportation. The UAE organisation has contacted Sortio Cargo, according to the co-founder of the company, about possibly buying the RUAV724.