Israel’s major aerospace and aviation manufacturer has announced plans to jointly develop an advanced anti-drone missile system with the United Arab Emirates’ state-owned weapons maker EDGE.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) said in a statement Thursday that the companies will work together to build the system in order “to detect, identify, classify, and intercept a broad range of threats.”
IAI said the Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (C-UAS) will include soft kill solutions such as electronic jamming and cyber takeovers, and hard kill capabilities such as guns, missiles, electromagnetics and lasers, as well as advanced command and control.
“The C-UAS is fully autonomous requiring no to limited human” supervision, the major Israeli aerospace company said.
“A series of countermeasures, ranging from jamming to drone destruction, will be offered based on the level of threat and the customer’s targeted operating environment,” the statement added.
IAI further asserted that the project would have “wider ranging benefits for the [Middle East and North Africa] region and beyond.”
Boaz Levy, president and CEO of IAI, welcomed the project as “a stepping-stone for further business and strategic alliances between” Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi.
Faisal al-Bannai, CEO and Managing Director of EDGE, said the project is set to strengthen the UAE’s advanced technology portfolio and partnerships in the region, adding that the deal is “in line” with the recently brokered normalization accords.
“We believe that this collaboration will help both companies through the transfer of knowledge and sharing of capabilities,” Bannai said.
UAE sets up $10bn fund to invest in Israel
Moreover, the United Arab Emirates on Thursday announced it had established a $10 billion fund to invest in multiple sectors in Israel.
The announcement was made following a call between Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Through this fund, the UAE will invest in and alongside Israel across sectors including energy, manufacturing, water, space, healthcare and agricultural technology. The investment fund will support development initiatives to promote regional economic cooperation” between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, the UAE said in a statement published on the state-run Emirates News Agency (WAM).
Netanyahu also confirmed that the UAE plans to invest $10 billion in the Israeli economy.
The Israeli prime minister also said that he and bin Zayed agreed that his first trip to the UAE would take place soon.
Netanyahu was forced to postpone his planned visit to the Persian Gulf state on Thursday, because Jordan delayed granting overflight rights. An earlier visit in February was canceled due to concerns from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Israeli prime minister signed agreements with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani during an official ceremony hosted by ex-US president Donald Trump at the White House on September 15 last year.
Palestinians, who seek an independent state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital slam the deals as a betrayal of their cause.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas protested the normalization deals with Israel, saying they will be fruitless as long as the United States and the Israeli regime do not recognize the rights of the Palestinian nation and refuse to resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees.
Abu Dhabi claimed that the normalization deal with Israel served Palestine by suspending an Israeli plan to annex more Palestinian lands.
However, despite such a claim, the Israeli regime has significantly stepped up its much-criticized land grab projects since its normalization deals with the UAE and Bahrain — followed by Sudan and Morocco.
The UAE and Bahrain have dramatically slashed their financial assistance to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees after the two Gulf states agreed to clinch US-brokered deals to normalize ties with Israel last August.
Israeli Channel 12 television network, citing the Center for Near East Policy Research, reported on February 5 that while the UAE funded the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) $53 million and $51 million in 2018 and 2019 respectively, it provided the agency with a mere $1 million last year.
The report added that Bahrain had also cut funds, but did not provide any figures. UNRWA confirmed the account.