Dubai Airshow: Edge Group reveals 350km2 testing range for uncrewed systems

Edge Group used the Dubai Airshow to formally launch its new X Range facility – a 350km2 island range dedicated entirely to multi-domain testing for military and aerospace systems.

The island boasts at least two runways: a 3,800m strip on the north side, with capacity for handling large aircraft; and a 1,200m to the east, dedicated specifically to unmanned aircraft. The latter location also houses a drone hangar, extensive drone testing facilities and a directed-energy weapons test site.

The company plans to open the facility up to international military and law enforcement customers. Unmanned Airspace understands the most likely timescale for the first non-Emirati users to gain access to the site is in the second half of next year. The existence of such a facility will undoubtedly attract users from the region but also from further afield, where testing facilities of this dedicated nature are extremely difficult to access or non-existent. “The X Range testing range will bring sophisticated, flexible and comprehensive testing capabilities to the heart of the Middle East, Africa, and Central and South Asia region. This ground-breaking launch comes after relentless preparation and pursuit of the latest defence and range technologies. In line with [Edge Group’s] growth strategy, X RANGE is a testament to our commitment toward the advancement of defence and security capabilities, both globally and locally, acting as a strategic asset for the future of security in the region,” said Mansour Al Mulla, Managing Director and CEO.

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(Image: the new X range occupies an entire island off the shoreline of Abu Dhabi. Credit: Edge Group)

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