REACH-S is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) suitable for advanced surveillance missions. Credit: EDGE PJSC Group.
The REACH-S MALE UAV has a maximum take-off weight of 640kg and a payload capacity of 120kg. Credit: EDGE PJSC Group.
The drone was first unveiled at the Dubai Airshow in November 2021. Credit: EDGE PJSC Group.

REACH-S is a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for performing advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and precision ground attack operations.

The drone was developed by EDGE Group, a technology and defence conglomerate based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It was unveiled at the Dubai Airshow in November 2021 by EDGE’s subsidiary HALCON, a developer and producer of autonomous and unmanned systems.

HALCON also unveiled other new products at the event: the QX-5 fixed vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAV, the QX-6 VTOL UAV with autopilot and communication systems, the Rash 2H high-precision guided munition system, the Hunter 10 tube-launched drone and the Hunter 5 tube-launched drone.

EDGE Group received the initial order for 100 REACH-S fixed-wing drones during the Dubai Airshow held in November 2023 from the UAE Armed Forces. The drone will be used for conducting enhanced surveillance missions.

REACH-S MALE UAV development details

ADVANCED CONCEPTS, a business unit of EDGE with expertise in the design and development of advanced technologies, is currently working on the development of the REACH-S MALE UAV to meet the specific needs of the UAE Armed Forces.

The company has accomplished two successful flight tests and a weapon release campaign for the REACH-S system and is preparing for a long-endurance flight test.

ADASI, a subsidiary of EDGE specialising in the creation and advancement of autonomous systems, will manage the manufacturing and delivery of the UAVs to the UAE Armed Forces.

REACH-S MALE UAV design and features

The REACH-S MALE drone is 5.5m long and has a wingspan of 12m. It has a maximum take-off weight of 640kg and a payload capacity of 120kg.

The UAV is capable of reaching an altitude of 19,000ft while achieving a cruising speed of 80kt or 145km/h. The maximum altitude it can reach is 22,000ft.

REACH-S features a reusable design and 24-hour endurance, making it suitable for reconnaissance missions.

It is equipped with autonomous take-off and landing capabilities and a mounted electro-optical sensor on the underbelly.

The drone has a communication range of up to 200km from the ground control station, which makes it well-suited for border security and long-range operational missions.

The UAV features a fault-tolerant system and a redundant flight control system. It is also equipped with redundant servo actuators and a redundant power system.

Propulsion details

The REACH-S UAV features a Rotax 912 engine, which has a 110hp capacity and utilises gasoline fuel.

Rotax 912 produces 73.5kW or 100hp at 5,800 revolutions per minute. It produces a torque of 128Nm at 5,100 revolutions per minute. It has a displacement of 1,352cm³ and is suitable for use with MON 85, RON 95 and AKI 91 fuel types.

The four-stroke piston engine features four liquid and air-cooled cylinders, dry sump forced lubrication with a separate oil tank, a hydraulic valve tappet with automatic adjustment and two carburettors. In addition, it includes a mechanical fuel pump, dual-electronic ignition, an electric starter, a propeller speed reduction gearbox and an air intake system.

The engine’s overload clutch weight is 1.7kg, the exhaust system weight is 4kg and the external alternator weight is 3kg. The engine mount weighs 2kg and the air guide hood weighs 0.4kg.

Contractors involved

ADASI selected Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), a satellite solutions provider based in the UAE, to provide REACH-S platforms with its advanced satellite communications solutions.