A subsidiary of Tawazun Holding, Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments (ADASI, Stand 05-A10) provides a one-stop solution, delivering a comprehensive range of services, including consultation, procurement, development, test, operation, logistical support, training and full service support for autonomous systems for air, land and sea use.
ADASI also manages the Al Sabr programme, initiated in 2003 to meet a UAE Armed Forces requirement for an autonomous air vehicle for use in the surveillance and reconnaissance, radio and data relay, border security, critical infrastructure monitoring and artillery support roles.
The Al Sabr system is based on a UAV platform with two support vehicles (a ground control station and a transport vehicle), but is offered with a range of different deployment options to improve the system’s off-road deployability. The air vehicle can also be adapted to operate from fixed operations centres or for operation from a ship.
The Al Sabr air platform was developed under a joint programme between the UAE Government and Austria. Some of the major components are manufactured in the UAE, which also hosted final assembly and testing of the UAE Armed Forces aircraft.
Al Sabr’s air vehicle is based on the Schiebel Camcopter S-100, a fully autonomous rotary-wing UAV of conventional helicopter configuration, with a two-bladed main rotor and an anti-torque tail rotor.
Because it has a full vertical take-off and landing capability, the aircraft does not rely on runways or dedicated launch and recovery systems.
The airframe is of advanced composite construction, with some titanium and aluminium components.
This ensures robustness and structural strength at relatively low weight, providing excellent performance. The airframe also has good environmental resistance – particularly in maritime environments.
Carrying an advanced EO/IR payload, the Al Sabr air vehicle has a fully redundant flight control system.
It can remain airborne for up to 10 hours and can provide a live video feed to the ground station within a radius of 180km.
The aircraft has been certified by the Austrian AustroControl GmbH (ACG) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The UAE Armed Forces was the launch customer for the Camcopter, which was subsequently sold to China, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Libya, Russia and the USA.