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UAE's Edge reveals UAV testing facility

The Brazilian naval delegation watch screens showing satellite imagery of Abu al-Abyad island during the Sig4l demonstration. (Edge Group)

The United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) Edge Group revealed the location of its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) testing facility on 4 August, when it released a video showing demonstrations it put on for a Brazilian naval delegation.

The video said the Brazilians were taken to the company's ‘testing range' and showed them watching the feed from an ADASI QX-2 quadcopter that included co-ordinates for a location at the airport on Abu al-Abyad island, about 60 km southwest of Abu Dhabi city.

An ADASI Garmoosha unmanned helicopter was also seen flying. The company had previously told Janes that the Garmoosha, which is similar to the Schiebel Camcopter S-100 used by the UAE Armed Forces, is in full-rate production for an undisclosed customer.

The Brazilians were also given a demonstration by Edge's electronic warfare subsidiary, Sig4l, which had deployed antennas on top of one of the airport's buildings, and watched the Armed Robotic Vehicle (ARV) version of the Nimr Ajban 4×4 that was remotely driven around the aircraft parking apron.

The use of Abu al-Abyad airport for the demonstration enabled it to be identified as the airport seen in a video shown on Edge's stand during the IDEX defence show held in Abu Dhabi in February 2023. This featured a prototype of the Reach-S unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) taking off from the runway and dropping what appeared to be a member of the company's Desert Sting series of small guided bombs.

The most recently available satellite imagery of the airport from 9 July 2022 showed no indication Edge was using it at that time and a Skyguard anti-aircraft gun system was still deployed near the northwest end of the runway.

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