FLIR Systems [FLIR] on Monday said it has acquired Aeryon Labs, a Canada-based maker of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for military, public safety and industrial applications worldwide, in a $200 million deal that adds new UAS capabilities.

FLIR declined to disclose Aeryon’s annual sales. Aeryon is expected to dilute FLIR’s 2019 earnings by two cents a share due to product development investments. In 2020, FLIR expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings.

FLIR’s $134 million acquisition in Nov. 2016 of Norway’s Prox Dynamics gave the company its first UAS platform, the Nano-UAS Black Hornet, a palm-sized helicopter equipped with thermal and visible spectrum sensors for covert intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) work. The acquisition of Aeryon moves FLIR up the food chain in UAS with the quad-copter-sized small SkyRanger family of systems that can stay airborne longer with more sensing power and fly further and faster for ISR missions.

FLIR Systems’ SkyRanger 60 small UAS. Photo: FLIR Systems

“The acquisition of Aeryon Labs reinforces our long-term strategy to move beyond providing sensors to the development of complete solutions that save lives and livelihoods,” Jim Cannon, FLIR’s president and CEO. “This acquisition, coupled with our acquisition of Prox Dynamics in 2016, greatly increases our unmanned systems solutions capabilities, expanding beyond Nano-UAS into Group 1 UAS solutions for military. We intend to continue to invest and build this area of our business and broaden our capabilities as we view unmanned and autonomous solutions to be a significant opportunity for organic growth in the coming years.”

Aeryon, which has 200 employees, is now part of FLIR’s Government and Defense business unit’s Unmanned Systems and Integrated Solutions division.  The company’s UAS systems are deployed by 20 militaries in over 30 countries, including the U.S. Defense Department.

Aeryon is headquartered near Toronto and has offices in Denver and Salt Lake City. The company said that joining with FLIR will open new opportunities for it.

“As drone technology and is markets evolve, customers are seeking UAS as just one component of a broader solution,” Dave Kroetsch, co-founder and chief technology officer of Aeryon, said in a statement. “While Aeryon has been evolving in that direction for the past few years, being part of FLIR Systems brings a path to include our hardware and software technologies in much bigger solutions than would have ever been possible on our own.”

Group 1 UAS weigh 20 pounds or less. Aeryon’s SkyRanger 60 can be carried in a rucksack and be deployed in minutes by one person in severe weather. The system can be equipped with the company’s own high-definition zoom camera or a FLIR-made electro-optic/infrared Mk-II sensor system.

Aeryon’s new SkyRanger 70 features an open architecture allowing third parties developers to provide integrated payloads. The UAS also has more computing power and payload capacity.

Aeryon also provides its own flight operations software.

Aeryon’s financial advisor on the deal was

Harris Williams. FLIR didn’t use a financial advisor.