Israel and the UAE have unveiled a jointly developed unmanned maritime vessel. The vessel was presented at the NAVDEX exhibition in Abu Dhabi by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) and Edge where it performed a range of military and commercial missions.
The jointly-produced autonomous vessel is fitted with sensors, sonar, and imaging systems integrated into a partially or entirely remotely-operated unified command and control system, which does not require human intervention.
The new system was presented a year after a commercial cooperation agreement was signed between the companies, under which EDGE, and ADSB, the region’s leading shipyard, would use their capabilities in design, production, maintenance, adaptation, and conversion of commercial and other vessels. ADSB has designed the platform, integrated the sensors and control systems on board the vessel, and developed its operational concept. IAI has developed and supplied the autonomous control system, and integrated a range of dedicated sensors into the control unit, all in accordance with the needs of the program.
Military applications made possible by autonomous vessels include intelligence-related activities, tracking, observation, border and coastal surveillance, the means for conducting maritime security, mine-detection, submarine detection and anti-submarine warfare, and the deployment of platforms for vertical takeoff and landing. The vessels are also suitable for civilian applications including oceanography, pollution detection and monitoring, oil and gas drilling, liquid material transportation, search and rescue, firefighting, and the early interception of threats.
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.”
ADSB CEO David Massey said, “ADSB is very pleased to have worked with its partners to develop a cost effective autonomous inshore and harbor protection mine countermeasure (MCM) 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.”
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