Sheikh Mohamed Launches UAE's Largest Defence Conglomerate
(Source: Khaleej Times; published Nov. 05, 2019)
By Ashwani Kumar
Abu Dhabi officials, including Crown Prince Sheik Mohamed and Edge CEO Faisal Al Bannai, at the holding company’s official launch on Nov. 5. Edge will take over all of Abu Dhabi’s defense and aerospace manufacturers. (Twitter photo)
ABU DHABI --- His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has launched a new advanced technology conglomerate for the UAE defence industry. Formed by consolidating 25 entities, Edge is now the UAE's largest defence company, which will ensure a secure future for everyone, a top official said.

Faisal Al Bannai, CEO and managing director of Edge, said in his maiden speech that the new company is necessitated as the world is increasingly engaged in hybrid warfare where battles are fought in cyberspace. He reminded everyone how drone strikes in August halted production at the world's largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia. "These are the future threats we face. This is the new security reality."

Al Bannai said there was a need to speed up efforts to find innovative solutions.

"Edge is a crucial milestone in the progress of the UAE. It will bring advanced and innovative technologies and services to the market with greater speed and efficiency."

Edge is a commercial entity but owned by the Abu Dhabi government. All companies under Edge cater to the defence and security sector. It includes subsidiaries from Emirates Defence Industries Company, Emirates Advanced Investments Group, Tawazun Holding, and other independent organisations. There may be some joint ventures with international partners.

"The current revenue is over $5 billion. Edge now represents 12,000 talented individuals, who work across 25 companies in five clusters - platforms and systems, weapons and missiles, cyber defence, electronic warfare and intelligence, and mission support."

A glittering event offered a sneak peek into what could hold ahead - quantum robots with armed forces on the battleground, electromagnetic weapons destroying enemies at touch of a button, hypersonic aircrafts with ability to strike anywhere in the world in less than two hours.

"As a single integrated group we have ambitious plans. Edge will be guided by three defining principles - talent, partnerships and disruption delivered in real sense of speed and urgency. We will attract best minds from across the globe. We will work closely with everyone. We will build strategic partnership. We will be willing to co-invest and co-develop. Edge is about practical product development, creating R&D environment, fast decisions without waiting for bureaucracy. This will help the UAE to achieve national sovereignty on critical defense solutions to protect it."

Edge's customers are the UAE Armed Forces and security agencies, and international customers - both from Arab world and other countries. The company will implement advanced technologies such as autonomous capabilities, cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, advanced propulsion systems, robotics and smart materials, with a focus on artificial intelligence across all its products and services.

Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, chief executive officer of Tawazun Economic Council, the UAE's Defence Enabler, said: "We are invested in managing the uncertainty that technology brings by adapting our focus and capabilities towards a sustainable defence and security industry. EDGE will help us transform our domestic capabilities, while growing our engagements on defence and security exports."

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UAE’s EDGE to Lead Global Defense Innovation
(Source: Forecast International; issued Nov 07, 2019)
On November 5th, his Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces inaugurated EDGE. The company is set to reposition the UAE as a key global player in the advanced technology that will ultimately drive global industry.

The chief executive and managing director of EDGE, Faisal al-Bannai, told CNBC in an interview that the objective of EDGE is to not only ensure the UAE is able to produce many of its defense requirements locally, but also to help diversify the economy for “when the last barrel of oil runs out.”

EDGE is consolidating more than 25 entities, including subsidiaries from the Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC), Emirates Advanced Investments Group (EAIG), Tawazun Holding, and other independent organisations.

The affiliated firms have a combined annual revenue of about $5 billion, Defense News reported.

The company is positioned to take advantage of the digital era, starting with break-through innovations in the defence sector.

Elite industry experts and talent from around the globe will help advance a wide spectrum of modern product development, ranging from ideation to building cross domain capabilities over its five core business clusters: Platforms & Systems, Missiles & Weapons, Cyber Defence, Electronic Warfare & Intelligence, and Mission Support.

EDGE is set to implement advanced technologies such as autonomous capabilities, cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, advanced propulsion systems, robotics and smart materials, with a focus on artificial intelligence across all its products and services.

EDGE can also be found at the Dubai Air Show as the first ever Advanced Technology Partner of the Dubai Airshow in its 30-year history.

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