Home Business AI Transforms Defense Industry Expectations, Affirms Edge Executive

AI Transforms Defense Industry Expectations, Affirms Edge Executive

UAE Defense Conglomerate Highlights Opportunities and Challenges in Autonomous Technology at Umex Exhibition

by The Gulf Talk
edge executive

Artificial intelligence (AI) presents significant opportunities and challenges for Edge, a leading UAE defence conglomerate, according to Ahmed Al Khoori, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Excellence. During an interview at the Unmanned Systems Exhibition and Conference (Umex), Al Khoori emphasized the evolving landscape of autonomous defence technology and the need for Edge to adapt.

With a substantial presence at Umex, Edge is at the forefront of showcasing the latest developments in autonomous aerial technology, drones, robots, and unmanned systems. Al Khoori acknowledged the challenge of keeping pace with the rapid advancements in AI but expressed confidence in overcoming it.

Generative AI has notably shifted expectations for autonomous defence technology. Al Khoori explained that the concept goes beyond remotely weaponized products to more sophisticated scenarios and operations. The focus is on delivering autonomous systems capable of making decisions for end-users, reflecting the influence of generative AI in shaping the industry.

Established in 2019, Edge brings together around 25 UAE companies to create advanced technology for weapons systems, cyber protection, and electronic warfare. Al Khoori highlighted the diverse applications of autonomous and unmanned aerial technology, emphasizing products designed not only for defence but also for civilian operations, such as humanitarian purposes, firefighting, and search and rescue missions.

Addressing concerns about the potential negative impact of AI-based drone technology in conflicts, Al Khoori stressed the importance of developing ethical algorithms to minimize collateral damage. He anticipates that AI will drive most if not all, Edge products in the next two to three years.

Edge aims to continue diversifying its product offerings, expanding from 30 to approximately 160 products, with a significant focus on the autonomous sector. The autonomous defence industry continues to grow, with Statista projecting revenue from the unmanned systems sector to reach $4.2 billion this year.

Highlighting Edge group Milrem Robotics’ recent contract, Al Khoori mentioned the supply of 20 robotic combat vehicles and 40 unmanned ground vehicles to the Ministry of Defence. This represents the world’s largest combat robotics program, showcasing Edge’s commitment to innovation and leadership in the field.

Looking ahead, Al Khoori hinted at the company’s new “space and cyber” cluster, indicating ongoing efforts to strategize space programs. The company is expected to reveal more details shortly, demonstrating its commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements in defence.

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