United Arab Emirates and Israel Cooperate to Build Anti-Submarine Unmanned Vessel

United Arab Emirates and Israel Cooperate to Build Anti-Submarine Unmanned Vessel

The state-owned arms makers of the United Arab Emirates and Israel on Thursday signed a strategic agreement in Dubai to jointly design a drone capable of conducting anti-submarine warfare.

Ummatimes - United Arab Emirates defense conglomerate EDGE and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced the partnership at the last of the biennial Dubai Airshows.

In a joint statement, the companies said they would design an advanced modular unmanned vessel "170 M" which will be usable for military and commercial purposes.

The deal comes after the UAE and Israel last year established diplomatic ties under a deal, in which the United States also agreed to sell F-35 fighters to the UAE.

Aerospace and defense company IAI said in March it would jointly develop an advanced drone defense system with EDGE.

The UAE-Israel unmanned vessels will be able to operate semi-autonomously and fully autonomously, and perform missions including submarine detection and anti-submarine warfare.

"This development will open many doors for us in local and global markets, both military and commercial," said EDGE Chief Executive Faisal Al Bannai.

The drone ships will also be used for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, mine detection and sweeping, and as a deployment platform for certain types of aircraft.

Commercially, unmanned vessels will be adaptable for oil and gas exploration among several other capabilities.

The Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) will design the platform and integrate the control and payload systems, while IAI will develop the autonomous control system and integrate the payload into it.

The statement did not say how much capital had been invested in the United Arab Emirates and Israel drone project, or when it would enter production.