Pioneering Collaboration: GA-ASI and EDGE Unveil Landmark Partnership to Integrate Smart Weapons onto GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian at Dubai Airshow

Pioneering Collaboration: GA-ASI and EDGE Unveil Landmark Partnership to Integrate Smart Weapons onto GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian at Dubai Airshow
In a momentous announcement at the Dubai Airshow, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), known for its expertise in designing and manufacturing Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optics, has entered into a transformative partnership with EDGE, a leading advanced technology group specializing in defense and beyond. This groundbreaking agreement discloses plans to integrate EDGE smart weapons onto GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian® RPA, marking a significant leap forward in global defense collaboration.

This collaboration signifies a historic event as it represents the inaugural integration of UAE-manufactured smart weapons onto a U.S. unmanned platform, highlighting the pivotal role this partnership plays in advancing U.S.-UAE defense cooperation. The agreement not only opens avenues for unprecedented collaboration but also marks a significant milestone in the realm of unmanned aerial systems.

Hamad Al Marar, President of EDGE Group’s Missiles & Weapons cluster, expressed pride in this collaboration, emphasizing the unique capabilities offered by integrating EDGE smart weapons onto the MQ-9B SkyGuardian. He highlighted the end user's access to dynamic, highly accurate, and cost-effective ground strike solutions, setting the stage for an enhanced collaboration between EDGE and GA-ASI in the future.

GA-ASI President David R. Alexander echoed the excitement, noting the groundbreaking nature of this initiative. The integration of home-grown capabilities onto customer platforms is a familiar territory for GA-ASI, but the integration of non-NATO weapon systems onto their RPA platforms marks a significant departure from convention.

The EDGE smart weapons designated for integration include the cutting-edge DESERT STING family of GGWs and THUNDER family of cost-effective PGMs from HALCON, along with the AL TARIQ family of modular, mission-proven, all-weather day/night long-range PGMs. This arsenal of smart weapons is poised to elevate the capabilities of GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian to unprecedented heights.
Pioneering Collaboration: GA-ASI and EDGE Unveil Landmark Partnership to Integrate Smart Weapons onto GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian at Dubai Airshow
GA-ASI envisions this collaboration as a catalyst for more partnerships within the UAE defense industry. The goal is to integrate domestically developed sensors and weapons onto the MQ-9B not only for the UAE Armed Forces, which currently operate GA-ASI’s Predator XP, but also for other international customers.

As an affiliate of General Atomics, GA-ASI boasts a legacy of over eight million flight hours, providing long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems crucial for delivering persistent situational awareness. The company's extensive portfolio includes the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar.

Launched in November 2019, EDGE, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, has rapidly established itself as a leading advanced technology group. Comprising five core clusters - Platforms & Systems, Missiles & Weapons, Space & Cyber Technologies, Trading & Mission Support, and Homeland Security - EDGE is committed to bringing breakthrough innovations to market efficiently.

With a strong focus on the adoption of 4IR technologies, EDGE is at the forefront of driving the development of sovereign capabilities for global export and the preservation of national security. The group collaborates with front-line operators and international partners, adopting advanced technologies such as autonomous capabilities, cyber-physical systems, advanced propulsion systems, robotics, and smart materials.

The collaboration between GA-ASI and EDGE, culminating in the integration of EDGE smart weapons onto GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian, signifies a groundbreaking milestone in defense innovation. The partnership not only paves the way for unprecedented capabilities but also reinforces the commitment of both entities to driving transformative change in the global defense landscape. As they break new ground at the Dubai Airshow, the stage is set for a future where EDGE smart weapons play a pivotal role in shaping the future of unmanned aerial systems.

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