Warplanes: UAE Buys Into the UAV Market


December 25, 2005: The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which was not allowed by the United States to purchase ten Predator UAVs, has gone and built their own. Using technology obtained from Schiebel, in Austria, and CybAero, in Sweden, the two UAVs are helicopter type designs, intended for police work, and border patrol. German and South Korean firms are also contributing technology. The UAE also plans to export their al Sber and APID 55 UAVs. The smaller al Sber is intended for short range police work, while the larger APID 55 is intended for border and coastal patrol. So far, five APID and nine al Sber prototypes have been built. Testing has gone well, and the UAE expects to find most of their sales in the civilian, not military, market. However, the UAE is putting up a lot of cash to build new helicopter UAVs for a market that already has a lot of competition. From a business point of view, the UAE endeavor is a high risk effort. But for those who buy and use these UAVs, it means more choices.




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