H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan (photo), UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, opened on Sunday the 4th edition of the Unmanned Systems Exhibition, UMEX, and Simulation and Training Exhibition, SimTEX, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, with the theme “Manned-Unmanned Teaming in the Age of Smart Systems”, the biennial event is taking place from 23rd to 25th February. It is organized by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, ADNEC, in cooperation with the UAE Ministry of Defense and the Supreme Command of the UAE Armed Forces.
Sheikh Mansour toured several local and foreign pavilions and talked with exhibitors about their latest innovations and technologies for drones, robotics, components, and unmanned systems, according to Emirates news agency WAM.
Sheikh Mansour termed UMEX and SimTEX 2020 a “gateway to the future” and '”an exceptional opportunity'” to stimulate and encourage innovation. “The UAE has strengthened its presence and reputation in advanced technologies and industries,”' he added.
Sheikh Mansour watched a live demonstration in which artificial intelligence, robots and drones are used. He also launched the first UAE-made high-performance “Garmousha” vertical take-off and landing drone, VTOL, at the EDGE stand.
Aimed at further advancing air operations and enhancing performance, the new Garmousha drone is a light military unmanned aircraft designed to carry payloads of approximately 100kg, with an endurance of six hours and 150km. A new platform offering greater endurance, higher payload, an integrated high-definition camera and coverage of a larger surface area, the helicopter provides optimal operational flexibility, allowing militaries to save manned helicopters for critical missions.
The Garmousha drone can also be used to detect gas pipeline leaks, to survey infrastructure, and in search and rescue operations. Its advanced capabilities are expected to reduce its overall cost of operations.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed met at ADNEC Sunday with Major General Saïd Chengriha, Acting Chief-of-Staff of the Algerian National People’s Army.
The meeting was attended by Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defense Affairs, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, and Faris Mohammed Ahmed Suhail Al Mazrouei, Advisor to the Ministry of Presidential Affairs.
For his part, the UAE Minister of State for Defense Affairs met separately Hakob Arshakyan, Minister of High-Tech Industry of Armenia, and Golovchenko Roman Aleksandrovich, Minister of State Authority for the Military Industry of Belarus.
Organizers said the number of exhibitors increased to 163 companies, with a 33% growth compared to the 2018 edition, and the total exhibition space increased by 40%, to 25,000 square meters, compared to the space of the previous edition.
The number of participating countries increased to 30 in addition to seven national pavilions. The number of national companies participating in the event reached 63, constituting 40% of the total number of exhibitors. UMEX and SimTEX 2020 are expected to attract more than 18,000 visitors from all over the world, with an increase of more than 50% from the previous edition.
In parallel to the UMEX and SimTEX exhibitions, the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge, MBZIRC, organized by Khalifa University, is taking place between 23 and 25 February. MBZIRC was launched in 2015 as a major international robotics competition that will be held every two years, with total of prizes of USD 5 million.
MBZIRC 2020, attracting state-of-the-art AI solutions and autonomous aerial and ground robots, will consist of three challenges and a triathlon type Grand Challenge, all focusing on innovating robotic solutions for smart city applications.
Lastly, the UAE Armed Forces announced the signing of five deals with a total combined value of over AED 156 million (US$42.6 million) on the first day of UMEX/SimTEX, 2020.