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UAE defence giant buys stake in Estonian robotics firm

Edge has invested in Estonia's Milrem Robotics, based in Talinn Unsplash/Mari Mur
Milrem Robotics will retain its base in Estonia's capital Talinn
  • Abu Dhabi’s Edge Group takes a majority stake in Milrem Robotics
  • Estonia’s Milrem specialises in unmanned vehicles and robotic warfare
  • Milrem has sold products to countries such as the UK, the US and France

Technology and defence giant Edge Group has bought a majority stake in Estonia’s Milrem Robotics, a leading European developer of autonomous systems.

The transaction is the largest foreign investment in Estonia’s growing defence industry and will see Milrem Robotics join Abu Dhabi-based Edge as a new entity within its platforms and systems cluster.

Established in 2013, Milrem Robotics specialises in the development of intelligent unmanned ground vehicles and robotic warfare solutions. 

Faisal al Bannai, chairman of Edge Group, said: “Edge’s investment in Milrem Robotics is also an investment in the future of Edge, which is laser-focused on the development of such capabilities across its multiple domains. 

“It will allow us to realise both companies’ objectives and ambitions with agility in an increasingly diverse and fiercely competitive marketplace, to share technology and expertise, and to provide Milrem with the necessary support to expand its resources and talent base for further international growth as part of Edge.”

Milrem Robotics, which employs around 200 people, will continue to be based in the Estonian capital Tallinn, with offices also in Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and the US.

While Edge Group will have majority control of Milrem Robotics, other shareholders include company founder Kuldar Väärsi, Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Estonian private investors.

Väärsi said: “Edge Group offered the best opportunity for us to realise our ambitions of further international growth, in terms of footprint and the development of our industry-leading solutions.”

Milrem Robotics’ products have been sold to 16 countries, eight of which are Nato members – the US, Estonia, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, France, Germany and the UK.

Mansour AlMulla, Edge Group CEO
Edge Group managing director and CEO Mansour AlMulla. Picture: Edge Group

Edge Group managing director and CEO Mansour AlMulla added: “Our investment in Milrem will allow it to take advantage of Edge’s considerable resources to offer our customers operating in perpetually changing operating environments a more robust portfolio of superior autonomous systems at competitive costs.”

Launched in November 2019, Edge Group consolidates more than 20 entities into four core clusters – platforms and systems, missiles and weapons, electronic warfare and cyber technologies, and trading and mission support.

Last month, the company announced a strategic investment in High Lander, the Tel Aviv-based company behind Universal UTM, a drone-agnostic unmanned traffic management solution. 

The $14 million investment creates a partnership that is forging ongoing deals and high-value opportunities in both the military and civilian domains.