Further building out its unmanned systems capabilities, Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII] on Monday said it acquired the autonomy business of Spatial Integrated Systems (SIS), adding solutions for unmanned maritime surface vehicles.
Terms of the deal, which closed on Dec. 31, 2020, were not disclosed.
Unmanned systems and related autonomous technology were a key investment focus for HII last year as the company acquired Hydroid, a developer and manufacturer of small and medium autonomous unmanned underwater vehicles, invested in Sea Machines, a developer of autonomous navigation technology, and broke ground in Virginia on a new center of excellence for manufacturing, prototyping and testing unmanned systems to help it better support its government customers.
The SIS autonomy business, which is based in Virginia Beach, Va., develops and provides autonomous technology including software, communications, command and control, and vehicle system health monitoring that can be used in different types of vessels.
“The inclusion of SIS to our unmanned portfolio allows us to expand software capabilities and solutions for unmanned surface vehicles, including surface autonomy, command and control, and multi-vehicles control,” an HII spokeswoman told Defense Daily in an email response to questions. “They add advanced multi-vehicle collaborative autonomy, sensor fusion and perception to our portfolio and strengthen our position for work on unmanned surface vessels. They also work on autonomy projects in the ground and air domains.”
The SIS autonomy business will become part of HII Technical Solutions segment and operated within the Unmanned Systems business group, which is led by Duane Fotheringham. Sam Lewis, president and chief operating officer of SIS, will join HII and lead the company’s USV efforts, reporting to Fotheringham.
The SIS autonomy business’s solutions have been operated on 23 vessels types for more than 6,000 hours. About 50 SIS employees have joined the HII Technical Solutions Unmanned Systems group.
SIS’s unmanned solutions are in use with the Defense Department, including the Navy, and the company’s technology was recently evaluated by the Coast Guard to help patrol open ocean for illegal fishing activity. The company’s technology is used in a wide range of applications, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, harbor patrol, high value unit escort, payload delivery, mine clearance, and transporting supplies.
In addition to its small and medium unmanned maritime systems, HII has capabilities in larger systems. The company is teamed with Boeing [BA] on the Orca Extra-Large Unmanned Underwater Vessel that is in production and last year received a study contract from the Navy for the Large Unmanned Surface Vessel.
HII and SIS didn’t use financial advisers on the deal.