Abu Dhabi firm Adcom Industries has used this year’s show to unveil its major ambitions in the competitive UAV sector.
General manager Ali Al Dhaheri says that the firm is speaking with a number of potential customers about its United 40 High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) system, two examples of which are on display in the static park.
Al Dhaheri says one country that is strongly interested in the United 40 is Russia. Its defence ministry sees potential to use the type for missions such as border patrol and pipeline monitoring.
Al Dhaheri also commented on the unconventional platform of the United 40 and planned Global Yabhon, which both feature and S-shaped fuselage and two full-sized wings.
The forward wing functions much as a genoa, or forward sail, on a sailboat, speeding airflow over the rear wing. This layout generates more lift than a conventional aircraft design, allowing the United 40 to operate from shorter runways and use less-powerful engines.
Al Dhaheri says the company has built 10 United 40s and that the Global Yabhon, which can be both jet and turboprop powered, will have its first flight next year. The company gives users broad leeway in their choice of powerplants.
While the company, which employs several hundred at its main Abu Dhabi location, is eager to promote the civilian uses for the two aircraft, it says 80% of its revenue comes from the military – the company also produces a range of target drones.
The United 40s at the show are production models destined for customers. One is optimised for surveillance and carries hard points for four guide bombs. The second, the United 40 Block-5, is optimised for naval operations. The company says it can carry 40 sonobuoys and a single torpedo.
Check out the latest coverage from this year's Dubai Airshow.
For extra exclusive content, sign in or register to the FG Club.