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Dubai Airshow 2021: IAI launches USV, EO/IR projects with Edge

IAI's POP300D is one of the sensor systems Edge and IAI will be collaborating on in the Gulf region. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced on 18 November that it had signed two agreements with Emirati defence conglomerate Edge at the Dubai Airshow covering unmanned surface vessels (USVs) and electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) system maintenance.

The first agreement covers the development of a new USV between IAI and Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB), with ADSB to be responsible for platform design, control system and payload integration, and concept of operations development. IAI will develop the autonomous control system and integrate payloads to the control system units according to mission requirements.

IAI currently makes the Katana USV, which can carry a payload of 2,200 kg and has a mission endurance of 350 n miles. The vessel can reach a top speed of 60 kt and has a cruising speed of 30 kt. The platform's command-and-control station can be mobile and is operated by two operators and a mission commander. The vessel also utilises POP300D-HD high definition, which has also been mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

IAI and Edge also announced that they are establishing a centre in the UAE with Edge to market and maintain IAI's Plug-in Optronic Payload (POP), Mini-POP, and MOSP family of EO/IR systems. The two companies are also planning to form a standing joint committee to “identify opportunities in this field within the UAE and to expand future co-operation in other countries”, according to a release.

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