Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971

2020-03-01

UMEX and SimTEX Concludes Biggest Edition in its History

The 4th Edition of UMEX and SimTEX recently concluded at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre. Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, it has facilitated a huge number of trade deals valued at approximately AED 749,081,718.
 
UMEX and SimTEX 2020 were organised by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) in collaboration with the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the UAE Armed Forces. The three-day event drew 25,981 visitors.
 
Providing international visitors from regional government delegations, civil entities and other sector-specialised agencies and organisations with an overview of the latest innovations, technologies and security equipment, the exhibitions addressed the use of artificial intelligence and unmanned vehicles/systems to serve humanity and the environment alike.
 
UMEX/SimTEX’s Remarkable Success 
UMEX and SimTEX 2020 Chairman His Excellency Major General Staff Pilot Ali Mohammed Musleh Al Ahbabi, underlined the achievements of this latest exhibition: “This edition of the UMEX and SimTEX exhibitions has received praises from all the companies and exhibitors, thanks to great support the exhibition received from our wise leadership.

We’ve witnessed significant growth in the numbers of visitors and deals signed, in addition to the great willingness of international companies to participate and the organisation of several huge events such as the Mohamed bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge organised by Khalifa University and the Series of Artificial Intelligence Competitions organised by the Ministry of Education, both confirming the leading global position the exhibitions have reached over a short period of time.”
 
Al Ahbabi thanked the Ministry of Defence and GHQ of the UAE Armed Forces for their unlimited support along with ADNEC and all the teams who worked in cooperation with the national institutions composing the Organising Committee. All of these partners worked with the spirit of one team to succeed in organising the exhibitions in a manner that supports the reputation and position of the UAE at both regional and international levels.
 
His Excellency Al Ahbabi emphasised that, “UMEX and SimTEX are in line with the UAE's vision and Strategy for the Future, to promote the advancement of innovation and support the goals of the ‘2020: Towards the next 50’ initiative by elevating future technologies in the education, infrastructure and healthcare industries across the UAE. The events also promote the UAE’s position as a global hub for technology and innovation in line with the global trends towards embracing the 4th Industrial Revolution. Both exhibitions shed light on the latest innovations and technologies in front of a global audience, which includes delegations, experts and specialists in these sectors from around the world. We witnessed a noticeable increase in the number of national companies exhibiting in this session, which enhances the competitiveness of these companies and their ability to access new markets around the world.”
 
UAE: A Technology Hub
His Excellency Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer, ADNEC was proud to see UMEX and SimTEX consolidate its leading position in promoting UAE’s status as an international hub for technology and innovation: “The great success witnessed by UMEX and SimTEX 2020 exhibitions could not have been achieved without the support of our wise leadership and its guidance that contributed to advancing the reality and future of the business tourism sector in the country, by supporting existing exhibitions and conferences, and enhancing their competitiveness and ability to attract major international companies specialised in various economic sectors.”
 
His Excellency further underlined that, “The 4th edition of both exhibitions and accompanying conference achieved record results, including an increase in the number of exhibiting companies (to 166), with a growth rate of 38 per cent compared to the previous edition in 2018, while local exhibiting companies have increased to 66, which count for 40 per cent of total exhibitors. The total area of ​​the exhibitions increased by 50 per cent to 25,500 square-metres and they had a growth rate of more than 116 per cent compared to the previous edition. Additionally, the number of participants reached 1,600 participants, achieving an increase of 433 per cent compared to previous edition.”
 
 Al Dhaheri congratulated the Ministry of Defence and GHQ, of the UAE Armed Forces, along with partners from the public and private sectors, national institutions, sponsors and supporters of this event, for their exceptional efforts in organising this global event, and enhancing its position at the regional and international levels. He stressed that, “Organising the UMEX and SimTEX 2020 exhibitions, in conjunction with the Mohamed bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge and the series of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Competitions, emphasises the flexibility of the facilities of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and the platforms it provides for internal and external exhibitions in addition to the marine display platforms.

The great demand that we have witnessed by specialised international companies is a living testimony to the success of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company in supporting national events in various economic sectors, as part of its strategy to advance the reality and future of this vital sector, and to confirm the position of Abu Dhabi as the capital of a business tourism in the region.”
 
Deals Worth AED 749 Million Signed
UMEX 2020 and SimTEX 2020 got off to a bumper start with the GHQ of the UAE Armed Forces signing deals worth AED 156,091,505 on day one.
These included a contract worth AED 50,257,883 that was awarded to the American company Insitu Inc to provide technical support for drones. A deal was also inked with Ukraine’s SFTE SpetsTechnoExport to buy drones for a value of AED 2,626,195 and UK’s QinetiQ to purchase air targets for AED 37,691,603.
 
Local companies also bagged a number of deals such as the Emirati company, EARTH, part of EDGE’s cluster, won a contract to purchase marching mechanisms for AED 10,387,810. Also, Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments Company (ADASI) won a contract to purchase drone systems for AED 55,128,014.
 
While the total value of deals signed by the GHQ of the UAE Armed Forces on the second day climbed to AED 468,871,154. The day two contracts included a deal with South Africa’s Denel Dynamics worth AED 25,821,190 to buy a drone.
 
A number of local companies won big deals such as Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments (ADASI) that inked two separate contracts to purchase drone systems for AED 180,426,908 and AED 234,000,000. Furthermore, EDGE’s cluster company EARTH was awarded a contract to purchase marching mechanisms for AED 22,573,056.
 
Abu Dhabi Police also signed a series of contracts on day two. These included a contract to purchase a firefighting simulation system for AED 3,200,000 and a deal to purchase a simulation system to detect explosives for AED 2,300,000. Abu Dhabi Police also finalised a contract to supply fire extinguishing systems for AED 550,000.
 
The 11 deals signed on the third day of the exhibitions exceeded AED 124 million. Staff Brigadier Pilot Tareq Mohammed Al Bannai, spokesperson of UMEX and SimTEX 2020 exhibitions, highlighted that “a contract was signed with State Foreign Trade Enterprises (Ukraine) to provide technical assistance for drones at a value of AED 3,041,244, a deal was signed with International Golden Group (IGG) to purchase drones worth AED 33,352,936, and Al Fattan Shipbuilding Company to purchase maritime targets on behalf of the General Headquarters, GHQ, of the UAE Armed Forces at a value AED 18,183,830.”
 
Other contracts signed on the third day were with Ahmed Al Mazrouei Metal Industries company to purchase electronic systems and land targets for the UAE Armed Forces’ GHQ at a value of AED 20,273,030, Microsoft Gulf for the Ministry of Interior worth AED 1,733,632, between a technology projects solutions company and the Ministry of Interior valued at AED 1,498,750 and Emirates Photography and Marketing Company on behalf of the Ministry of Interior at a value of AED 31,287,995.
 
Meanwhile, the Emirates Alliance for Technical Solutions for the Ministry of Interior signed a contract for AED 1,547,022, while Gulf Business Machines (GBM) was contracted by the Ministry of Interior to a value of AED 4,640,000, AGI 4S for security solutions on behalf of the Ministry of Interior with a value of AED 7,064,620 and the Emirates Fire and Rescue Company on behalf of the Ministry of Interior for a value of AED 1,496,000.
The event concluded with total value of deals of approximately AED 749,081,718.
 
Live Demonstrations
UMEX and SimTEX Live Indoor Demonstrations, taking place at ADNEC and the Live Flying Demonstrations at Tilal Swaihan, allowed many international exhibitors and participants to demonstrate the actual capabilities and characteristics of their unmanned products.
 
The demonstrations involved Falcon Robotics showcasing their ‘Shaheen’ system, Al Tuff exhibiting their ‘Spur’ System, ADASI demonstrating their ‘S-100’ and ‘SDO-50 V2’ systems, MP3 exhibiting their ‘ISR 350-5’ system, Ziyan showcasing their ‘Blowfish A3’ system and Shenzhen demonstrating their KWT GX360-E system.
 
AI and Robotics Competitions
The Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC), organised by Khalifa University, was launched in 2015 as a major international robotics competition to be held in Abu Dhabi every two years, offering prizes worth US$5 million.
 
Attracting state-of-the-art AI solutions and autonomous aerial and ground robots, MBZIRC 2020 consisted of three challenges and a triathlon type Grand Challenge all focusing on innovating robotic solutions for smart city applications.
 
The challenges addressed in the MBZIRC 2020 included capturing and neutralising intruder UAVs, extinguishing simulated fires and providing prompt response in urban high-rise buildings emergencies. Here, 34 teams and nearly 500 researchers represented the best robotic systems laboratories, accounting for 10 per cent of 100 international universities.
 
Launched in 2015 and now in its 6th edition, the latest instalment of the “Series of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Competitions” witnessed the participation of over 6,700 Emirati school students, setting out to build a sustainable educational platform to play a major role in activating robot laboratories and promoting innovation, cooperation and international competition in the field of AI and robotics. The competition has been raising the level and scale of global participation in developing advanced skills in creative and technological design.
 
All participating students worked to develop the coding language, fix robotic arms, install cameras and print 3D palm trees, with the aim of finding the best solutions to contemporary problems and winning the title ‘Champion of the Series’ with the  opportunity to represent the UAE in 10 international competitions.
 
UMEX/SimTEX 2020 Show Highlights  
The Garmousha Drone
ADASI, the regional leader in autonomous systems and services, officially launched the first UAE-made high-performance ‘Garmousha’ vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone used to detect gas pipeline leaks, survey infrastructure stage search-and-rescue operations. A light military unmanned aircraft designed to carry payloads of 100kg with an endurance of six hours and 150km, this new platform offers greater endurance, higher payload and integrated high-definition camera providing optimal operational flexibility allowing militaries to save manned helicopters for critical missions.
 
Speaking on the announcement, His Excellency Faisal Al Bannai, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, EDGE, said: “Drone technology is revolutionising our world, creating safer and cheaper alternative to manned aircraft. As an unmanned system, the launch of the sophisticated Garmousha Drone helps advance ADASI’s vision for the future of defence, while strengthening the company’s position as the regional leader in autonomous systems.”
 
Ali Al Yafei, CEO of ADASI, added that, “We are proud to launch a product that is made in the UAE. The Garmousha Drone is designed to be extremely competitive in the market and will enable us to offer our clients the accuracy required to stay on the leading edge of tomorrow. At ADASI, we are continuously adapting to meet our customers’ needs and this product underpins our concerted efforts to identify a gap in the market, and act on it.”
 
Leonardo’s M-40 Target Drone   
Offering medium-to-high performance at a very competitive price and able to mimic a variety of aircraft and missiles, including radar, infrared (IR) and visual threats, Leonardo’s new Mirach 40 (M-40) is seeing an uptick in interest in the Middle East following its recent high-profile role in the testing of the new MBDA Mistral missile in Italy. The centrepiece of the Mistral trial was the live firing of a Mistral missile at an M-40 drone, which was witnessed by 15 international delegations . The Mirach-family drones have been employed for over 40 years by Armed Forces including the UK, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Algeria and Argentina. The new M-40 has also been designed to be readily exportable and is expected to become the market reference in its performance category.
 
Collins Aerospace UAS Solutions
Focusing on navigation and guidance at UMEX/SimTEX, Collins Aerospace breakthroughs in intelligent systems design and automation with its Athena and Piccolo families and in engine controls and mission computers. Collins showcased its new SAASM Real-Time Kinematic GPS receiver as the first in the industry to provide unmanned aircraft systems with centimetre-level GPS navigation accuracy and SAASM security which enables cost-effective solutions, for many other applications, including targeting and north-finding applications, primary or backup to any ground-based radar tactical auto-land system to increase integrity and reliability of Autoland, and a proven push-button take-off and auto-land capability on multiple vertical takeoffs and landings and fixed-wing platforms (no pilot in the loop).

Collins also debuted its reliable, safe and secure Command Non-Payload Communications (CNPC) data links for the first time in the region, providing a high-integrity pathway for the critical command and control signals that are crucial for operating in civil airspace as well as participating the NASA Systems Integration and Operationalisation research program that tests civil airspace access standards.
 
UTEK’s Specialised USVs
UTEK’s advanced Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV) offer advantages over manned boats with respect to long endurance, elimination of risk for crews, force multiplication or the augmentation and enhancement of capabilities. The Spanish company used UMEX to exhibit its USVs for defence applications, where the Kaluga USV, designed in collaboration with LEONARDO HISPANIA and the Greek company MILTECH’s thermal imaging system, is suitable for multiple missions and can be deployed for C4ISR mine countermeasure, anti-submarine, surface and electronic warfare, armed escort, counter fast attack, Special Operations Forces support, naval target, maritime interdiction, and training or logistics support. UTEK is also developing HAPS (High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite), a stratospheric platform for remote sensing which will operate for long periods of time at an altitude of 20 km to provide continuous coverage over an Area of Interest (AOI), while being recovered for maintenance and upgrades to provide remote sensing services to customers in the required AOI.
 
SKELDAR’s V-150 VTOL Platform
UMS SKELDAR, Europe’s leading provider of rotary Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platforms has launched its new enhanced V-150 Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) platform to support tactical operations with an ITAR-free high-performance UAV unique in its class and able to carry multiple payloads across two payload bays (up to 30 kg in the main bay and up to 12 kg in the nose). The new platform has a current endurance of 2.5 to potentially 4 hours with a 12 kg payload, operating on a turbine engine propulsion system that uses heavy fuels, making it perfect for maritime missions.

The V-150’s modular design enables a high degree of maintainability alongside a minimum turn-around time during operations, while it has a small logistical footprint ideal for storing in small hangars. As David Willems, VP Business Development and Strategy for the joint venture between Saab and UMS AERO GROUP, explains “The new V-150 is the perfect partner for our flagship SKELDAR V-200. With target sectors including coastguards, border patrol agencies, blue light services, fire departments and drug interdiction and trafficking agencies to name a few, the V-150 has been developed as an easy to use, simple to maintain UAV that can assist organisations with a wide range of smaller critical activities that ordinarily would entail manned crews taking on at an increased cost.”
 
The Alpha 800 UAV
A division of Alpha Unmanned Systems SL., founded in 2014, Alpha Security and Defence is a leading manufacturer of tactical gasoline-powered helicopter UAVs and advanced UAV engineering services, based in Madrid, Spain and funded with 100 per cent Spanish capital. The Alpha 800 Complete Systems is a robust, reliable and versatile, multi-mission unmanned military VTOL system developed for ISTAR missions and security and defence needs by including the following: 2 Gasoline-Powered Tactical UAV Helicopters Alpha 800, 1 Rugged Dual Screen GCase Duo Ground Control Station and 1 GTrack Antenna. Currently used in Asia, U.S., the Middle East and Europe for border control and ISTAR purposes, the Alpha 800 is classified by NATO as Class 1 MINI UAV for Tactical Operation with the capabilities of a manned helicopter, but in weighing less than 14kg, it has far lower maintenance requirements and costs entailing that it can be unpacked, pre-flight checked and launched by two trained professionals within seven minutes.
 
Milrem Introduces Desert UGV
A leading manufacturer of unmanned ground vehicles (UGV), Milrem Robotics introduced its 5th-generation THeMIS equipped with remote weapon systems, tethered drones, C-IED solutions and ISR sensors, along with the possibility to mount various payloads and act as a force multiplier. Specially designed to withstand harsh environments and hot climates, the THeMIS is proven in Mali, Africa where it has been deployed since early 2019 during the French lead anti-insurgent operation Barkhane, having been driven over 1000km during various missions in the toughest regions with lava rock soil, loose sand and high temperatures in shades reaching 50°C.
 
“Were pleased to be back in Abu Dhabi, where just a few years ago we tested the prototype of our UGV’s durability in hot conditions,” stated Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics. “We presented a robust product that has proven itself in hot climates, and as our clients have already determined, it will greatly enhance warfighting capabilities.”
 
Sogitec Highlights Virtual Reality
Sogitec, the Dassault Aviation company, presented its latest developments for the training of drone and helicopter crews, showcasing its VR medium class twin engine helicopter demonstration simulator and leveraging the best available simulation and imaging technologies, including Sogitec’s Apogée image generation. In the field of drones, Sogitec introduced its brand-new comprehensive solution aimed at UAS/RPAS crews (pilot, sensor and intelligence operators, mission commanders) for both initial and well-advanced tactical mission training.
 
Meggit’s Innovative Training Systems
Meggit arrived at SimTEX highlighting its FATS 180MIL three-screen virtual training system with 180° field of view which provides realistic, engaging training, with HD on every screen and 5.1 surround sound to immerse users in the action. As a leading integrated live-fire and virtual training system producer for military and law enforcement agencies worldwide, Meggitt Training Systems also showcased its  Multi-Function Stationary Infantry Target (MF-SIT) system and LOMAH (location of miss and hit). The MF-SIT responds to hits or pre-programmed scenarios for realistic urban operations and specialised training, while LOMAH’s shot scoring measures the precise time of a bullet’s triangulated supersonic shock wave, determining the bullet’s location and highlighting the shot(s) on the firing point computer.
 
Houbara’s Next-Gen Aerial Target
Houbara Defence was established two years ago as a joint venture between Middle East General Enterprises (MGE) and the UK’s QinetiQ plc to provide threat replication services to the defence industry and has recently invested in an assembly facility for target systems at Tawazun Industrial Park to grow its regional manufacturing capability. At SimTEX, Houbara unveiled their Next Generation (NG) Banshee, an aerial target used for training and capable of speeds of up to 250m per second, reaching heights of over 12,000 metres and the Snipe target, a smaller fixed-wing UAV providing realistic training against the drone threats that have emerged in recent years, alongside the Counter-IED robot, Talon. These systems complemented the range of autonomous and unmanned vehicles Houbara presented at the show, including the supersonic missile target, the Rattler, a vehicle capable of speeds exceeding Mach 2.4 and specifically designed to replicate the threat posed by anti-ship or ballistic missiles.
 
Saeed Ghanim Al Ali, Chairman of Houbara, confirmed that, “These new targets will replicate the very latest threats faced in keeping us safe on a day to day basis. By introducing more of our capabilities to the market, we will build local capacity in the defence sector, and increase training and skills development opportunities for both the UAE military and the industry that supports them, reflecting the goals set out by our leadership in Vision 2021.”
 
Cruden’s Fast Craft Simulator
Cruden showcased its latest Fast Craft Simulator for boats at SimTEX as an advanced simulator featuring seats for two helmsmen and navigator, enabling both team learning and a close-to-reality experience. With a taller 4.5m high screen, featuring incredibly detailed ultra-high-definition graphics, Fast Craft creates realistic training scenarios and offers a wider field of view offering SimTEX participants to experience its system integrators, fast craft boat builders and defence training organisations, exploring Fast Craft’s capabilities in high-speed boat handling, navigation, training and drill tactics in a hyper-realistic environment.
 
“Cruden’s proven ability to provide high-end systems that deliver high-fidelity, low latency visuals with realistic models and motion – all completely synchronised – is what sets us apart. Our Fast Craft simulator is testament to this,” said Maarten van Donselaar, CEO of Cruden. “The system can recreate virtually any scenario the crew would experience at sea along with the unique characteristics that are associated with piloting a fast craft on the water.”
 
Threod Secures IGG Deal 
Known for rapid product development of UAS solutions and for NATO Class 1 fixed-wing UAV platforms, proprietary developed sub-systems and multi-rotors, Threod Systems has secured a 16 Gimbal deal (with an option for more) with International Golden Group (IGG) of the UAE. With the deal coming at a time when Threod has seen a significant increase in market share for fixed-wing and subsystem sales, Threod CEO Villiko Nurmoja said, “We look to establish a long-standing relationship with IGG and know that this will be the first of many opportunities together.” CTO Kristjan Tiimus added that, “We look to set the standard for product development in our field. This is the latest example of what is to come from Threod.” 
 
UMEX and SimTEX 2022
With the next edition of UMEX and SimTEX taking place in 2022, these global events are ideally positioned to provide a professional platform shedding light on the ecological, environmental, civil and humanitarian benefits of unmanned systems and simulation and training.
 
The conferences will again highlight many of the benefits of new technology, such as increasing flexibility and the reduction of capital and operational costs, while taking account of some common uses for unmanned technologies and systems and more.

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