Mansour bin Zayed opens UMEX and SimTEX 2020, launches first UAE-made VTOL drone

Photo: WAM

 H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, opened 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 His Highness 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 organised by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, ADNEC, in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence 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 and the importance of sharing experiments and experiences in that respect.

The event that showcases the MENA regions industry leading and growing unmanned systems segments. Ideally positioned to provide a professional platform for manufacturers to meet operators and establish lucrative business relationships while promoting the defence, environmental, civil and humanitarian benefits of unmanned systems.

The high-profile event offers access to the regional and international networks, share important views and experiences with key-players in the field.

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.

H.H. Sheikh Mansour 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.

Organisers said the number of exhibitors increased to 163 companies, with a 33 percent growth compared to the 2018 edition, and the total exhibition space increased by 40 percent, to 25,000 sqm, 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 percent 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 percent from the previous edition.

In parallel to the UMEX and SimTEX exhibitions, the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge, MBZIRC, organised by Khalifa University, is taking place between February 23 to 25. 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.

The opening ceremony was attended by H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, Sheikh Khalifa bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Executive Director of the Martyrs' Families' Affairs Office of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, Ahmed Juma Al Zaabi, Minister of the Federal Supreme Council at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs,Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Lt. General Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, and a number of Arab and foreign ministers and dignitaries.

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