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Israel and UAE Unveil Jointly Produced Unmanned Navy Vessel


Unmanned Naval Vessel (Photo credit Israel Aerospace Industries)

In yet another sign of the growing relationship between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on Monday the two nations revealed a new jointly developed autonomous marine defense vessel at the NAVDEX Naval Defense & Maritime Security Exhibition, part of the IDEX defense exhibition currently underway in Abu Dhabi.

The new naval vessel is unmanned, making it sort of a drone of the sea. It was developed in cooperation between Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), ADSB (Abu Dhabi Ship Building) and the Emirati defense consortium EDGE. It was revealed just one year after a commercial cooperation agreement was signed between the companies.

The ship has autonomous systems, robotics and what are described as advanced algorithms. In addition, the ship is equipped with sensors, sonar, and imaging systems which do not require human intervention.

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ADSB is responsible for designing the vessel’s platform as well as integrating its sensors and control systems. It will also develop its operational concept. IAI will develop and supply the vessel’s autonomous control system and integrate a range of dedicated sensors into the control unit.

IAI president and CEO Boaz Levy said, “The unmanned maritime vessel we are exhibiting represents a historic moment. For the first time, cooperation between Israel and the UAE has resulted in an advanced technological product which includes autonomous systems and robotics. This joint realization is taking place in the UAE, and incorporates the very best technological knowledge of EDGE and ADSB, specialists in maritime and commercial activities, together with Israel Aerospace Industries. Our advanced technology allows us to leverage business opportunities ensuring the growth of both companies for many customers around the world.”

David Massey, ADSB’s CEO, said: “ADSB is very pleased to have worked with its partners to develop a cost effective autonomous inshore and harbor protection mine countermeasure vessel which minimizes risks to personnel and can be put into production according to customer specifications significantly faster than larger vessels. Strengthening strategic partnerships to enhance our capabilities is a strategic priority for both ADSB and EDGE for the wider benefit of our customers both locally and globally.”

The ship was unveiled as, for the first time in history, Israel opened its own pavilion at the Abu Dhabi Defense Exhibition in the United Arab Emirates. The Israel Ministry of Defense inaugurated the first-ever national pavilion at the “IDEX” defense exhibition on Monday. The ministry said that the participation in IDEX is part of joint efforts to “strengthen defense relations” with the Abraham Accords countries.

This is yet another example of how Israel has advanced in the Arab world since the signing of the Abraham Accords just two and a half years ago. At first, the Accords were signed with Arab Gulf states the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Later, the African Arab nations of Sudan and Morocco also joined.



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