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IDEX 2023: Edge awarded USD2.5 billion munitions contracts

The Halcon Hunter 2-S loitering munition system displayed on the Edge stand at IDEX 2023. (Edge)

A series of large contracts for weapons made by the Emirati defence company Edge worth AED9.27 billion (USD2.5 billion) were announced on the first two days of the IDEX 2023, being held in Abu Dhabi from 20 to 24 February.

Tawazun Council, which manages procurement for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces, said it had awarded Edge's Halcon weapons subsidiary with a AED4.7 billion contract for Desert Sting 25 lightweight guided bombs, a AED2.14 billion contract for Thunder P3 bomb guidance kits, and a AED1.1 billion contract for Hunter loitering munitions. Edge's ADASI autonomous systems subsidiary was awarded a AED1.33 billion contract for Shadow loitering munitions.

The Desert Sting 25 weighs 47 kg with a 25 kg warhead, making it the largest member of Halcon's Desert Sting family, which is designed for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and larger aircraft that can be fitted with racks for multiple bombs. The Desert Stings use inertial guidance as standard, giving them a circular error probable (CEP) accuracy of 10 m, which can be improved to 3 m with the optional semi-active laser (SAL) seeker, according to Edge.

The company provided more details on the other contracts, saying it will supply Thunder P3 Light systems with additional SAL seekers for the Mk 80-series general-purpose bombs. The loitering munitions contracts cover the delivery of the Hunter 2-S, Hunter 5, Hunter 10, Shadow 25, and Shadow 50.

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