World, Middle East

UAE, Israel sign deal to design unmanned ships

Unmanned M-170-class ships to be used for military, commercial purposes

Mennatallah H. H. M. Said A. and Asiya Ibrahim   | 18.11.2021
UAE, Israel sign deal to design unmanned ships FILE PHOTO

DUBAI, UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel on Thursday agreed to jointly design a series of unmanned ships.

The deal was signed by the UAE state-owned EDGE Group for Defense Industries and the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), also state-owned, to design unmanned ships that will be used for both military and commercial purposes.

“We agreed to design a series of unmanned M-170-class ships that can be used for the full range of military and commercial applications,” the two companies said in a joint statement.

Faisal Al-Bannai, CEO and Managing Director of EDGE Group, described the deal as “an important achievement” by the company “to enhance our advanced technology portfolio."

For his part, Boaz Levy, President and CEO of IAI, expressed delight to sign the deal, saying it was “another step in our growing efforts and growing partnerships in the region."

He described the agreement as one that "combines the best of the technological skills offered by both companies: the expertise of the maritime and commercial vessels of the EDGE Group, Abu Dhabi Shipbuilding Company (its subsidiary), and the expertise of (IAI) in the field of systems and artificial intelligence."

The statement explained that "the military applications of unmanned ships include intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, border and coast patrols, maritime security operations, mine detection and clearance, submarine detection, and anti-submarine warfare operations."

As for the commercial applications of the ships, they include oceanography, pollution monitoring, oil and gas exploration, transportation of materials and liquids, search and rescue operations, firefighting, and emergency interventions.

In March, the EDGE Group signed a memorandum of understanding with IAI to develop an advanced defense system against unmanned aircraft.

In September 2020, the UAE and Israel signed a US-sponsored deal to normalize their relations. Since then, the two countries have signed dozens of bilateral agreements in various fields, including investment, banking services, and tourism.

* Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

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