Israel, UAE unveil unmanned naval vessel they jointly developed
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The United Arab Emirates and Israel reveal their first jointly created unmanned vessel, illustrating their growing military ties as maritime threats rise in the Gulf region.
The craft, which has advanced sensors and imaging systems and can be used for surveillance, reconnaissance and detecting mines, is unveiled off the coast of Abu Dhabi during the Naval Defence and Maritime Security Exhibition (NAVDEX).
The unmanned surface vessel or USV was created by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Emirati defense consortium EDGE.
The busy Gulf shipping lanes have suffered years of missile and drone attacks blamed on neighbor Iran.
“We are for the first time demonstrating a mutual project that shows the capabilities and strengths of both companies” in securing coastlines and countering mine threats, says Oren Guter, who leads IAI’s naval program.
Guter, a former captain in the Israeli navy, says the vessels will counter “threats here in the area” but that the aim is also to deploy them abroad.
IAI was looking to bolster cooperation with the UAE in air defense and hopes to help the wealthy Gulf state improve its naval capabilities, he says.
The UAE and Israel have steadily deepened their military partnership, including defense procurement, since they normalized relations in 2020 as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords.