SOFEX 2022: Jordan Launches the Middle East’s First UAS, CUAS, and EW Test Site in Jordan

 The Middle East’s first-ever test site for unmanned aerial systems (UAS), counter unmanned aerial systems (CUAS), and electronic warfare (EW) has been officially launched in Jordan today.

The UAS test site was officially inaugurated during a series of successful test flights, which included the Kingdom’s first-ever drone delivery and drone inspection flights. During the drone delivery test, which was carried out by Deep Element in cooperation with the Jordan Defense and Development Bureau (JODDB), a Jordanian-made VTOL drone successfully delivered medical supplies from the test site to a targeted location near Kharrana Castle, southwest of the Azraq Wetlands—the first such utilization of a UAS flight in the region.

The launch of the test site signifies a major milestone in the Kingdom’s enablement of commercial and government drone operations, supporting the integration of UAS into the national airspace and providing a living lab for the development of future policies, trainings, certifications, and UAS and CUAS validations. The site will deliver a wide range of services and benefits to all UAS companies and partners, assisting them in the development of strategic operations and safety risk management plans, while also allowing them to test new UAS and CUAS technologies. This site will also allow for the testing of EW technologies to counter non-conformal drones, and will support developers in their research of these technologies under the umbrella of the Jordanian Armed Forces.

The test flights were successfully managed by Altitude Angel’s market-leading GuardianUTM Enterprise system, a world-class UTM (unified traffic management) platform which has been implemented in order to allow the test area to enable safe, integrated flight operations. GuardianUTM Enterprise provides a ‘single source point-of-truth’ situational awareness and flight authorizations for those managing the test site airspace.

Commenting on the occasion, Brigadier General Dr. Yousef Alkhatib, the Assistant Chief of Staff for Planning, Organization, and Defense Resources at the Jordanian Armed Forces, said, “The inauguration of this UAS, CUAS, and EW test site is a momentous occasion for the Kingdom, demonstrating the continuous elevation of our national capabilities across all levels. As the first country in the Middle East to develop such state-of-the-art facilities, Jordan is once again indicating its readiness to take a leading role in ensuring the security, stability, and advancement of our region.”

The newly launched UAS test site will provide further added value to its partners and clients, aiding in the development of risk mitigation strategies, the preparation of aviation rule waivers and airspace authorization materials, the provision of flight-testing infrastructure, and the acquisition of special airworthiness certificates in the experimental category, as needed.

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