Honeywell [HON] on Thursday said it has acquired a business of Ballard Power Systems [BLDP] that develops and produces fuel cell systems for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), positioning the company in a new market.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Ballard Power Systems, which is based in Canada, said the deal includes a long-term strategic collaboration to combine its expertise in fuel cell technology with Honeywell’s expertise in aerospace.
Honeywell said the deal gives it access to the hydrogen fuel cells market for UAS and other aviation applications, an engineering team experienced with integrating fuel cell systems into UAS, and expands its capabilities in UAS and urban air mobility. The company also said it plans to introduce a family of fuel power systems for various UAS systems.
Ballard Unmanned Systems, a small business based in Massachusetts, makes stored-hydrogen proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems used to power UAS, particularly for energy inspection, cargo delivery, and other commercial and defense applications, Honeywell said.
“Adding Ballard Unmanned Systems to the Honeywell family is another example of our commitment to invest in the growing UAS segment,” Mike Madsen, president and CEO of Honeywell Aerospace, said in a statement. “We can now begin producing top quality, scalable power systems for our UAS customers and eventually adapt these systems for other future aerospace, defense and adjacent segment applications.”
Honeywell also said that Ballard’s fuel cell systems for UAS can run up to three times longer than batteries, are five times more reliable than small engines, and are a clean source of energy.
Ballard Unmanned Systems had $602,000 in sales in 2019 and $372,000 through the first half of 2020. The business unit has about 12 employees. Honeywell said the acquisition doesn’t change its third quarter financial outlook.
Ballard said it divested its UAS business to focus on its core heavy and medium-duty motive markets for fuel cells in the bus, truck, train and marine segments.
No financial advisers were used for the transaction.