Kratos Defense [KTOS] last Friday night said it has acquired a small technical solutions and services company with expertise in unmanned and optionally piloted aircraft that will also serve as an engineering hub for Kratos in the high-technology region of Austin, Texas.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
5-D Systems, which is based near Austin, Texas, has been a subcontractor and teammate to Kratos on number of Kratos systems and programs, including the XQ-58A and aerial target systems. The company also has facilities in Huntsville, Ala.
5-D was co-founded by Steve Fendley, who is also president of Kratos’ Unmanned Systems Division. It will operate as a company within the Unmanned Systems Division and serve as the division’s Systems Engineering Hub.
“Kratos is a technology company operating in the defense space,” Eric DeMarco, president and CEO of Kratos, said in a statement. “Establishment of an engineering-focused Kratos facility in Austin is a logical step and has been a strategic goal of the corporation for some time. The acquisition of this long-term teammate enables us to immediately achieve our goal, while seamlessly complementing and expanding our engineering team with capability and credentials to help with our continually growing unmanned tactical and target system development efforts.”
5-D has capabilities in systems and software engineering for aerospace and defense, systems engineering and technical assistance services to government customers, and UAS in the areas of tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, jet-powered strike, jet aerial targets, and optionally piloted vehicles.
“5-D brings specific new capabilities to Kratos with their legacy manned conversion (optionally piloted vehicle) and larger aircraft experience including the Q-F, with the associated runway takeoff and landing modes that have direct application on several Kratos pursuits,” DeMarco said. “We are excited about being well-positioned with a Kratos technology center near several key customers and with the continuing expansion of our capability and experience in high performance unmanned jet drone systems.”
Austin is home to the U.S. Army Futures Command, and the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit and various defense contractors also have offices there.
Kratos also said that its tactical UAS production facility in Oklahoma City, Okla., which is about a five- to six-hour drive from Austin, will benefit from the engineering capabilities the company now has in Texas.