Fortem Technologies on Tuesday said it has received a $15 million investment from Japan’s Toshiba Corp. that will allow it to quickly scale and meet demand for increased production of its counter-drone systems.
The two companies also agreed to a strategic alliance that involves the integration of their complementary counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS).
“We feel this is real validation for both the market and our technology,” Timothy Bean, CEO of Utah-based Fortem, told Defense Daily in an interview ahead Tuesday’s announcement.
In addition to allowing Fortem to boost production, Toshiba’s investment will help it expand its global footprint to support resellers of its products with marketing and technical resources, he said.
Bean said most of the demand for his company’s products is from international customers, with Fortem’s products “deployed widely” in Japan, the Middle East, the U.S., Canada, and Southeast Asia. Toshiba will be responsible for sales in Japan and be part of Fortem’s reseller group, he said.
Customers include the U.S. Defense Department, international militaries, including friendly partners in the Middle East, civil government law enforcement authorities, in particular internationally, and the private sector, he said.
Fortem’s key products includes its TrueView active electronically scanned phased array radar that includes artificial intelligence at the edge for autonomous detection of rogue drones, its DroneHunter interceptor drone that interdicts potential threat drones and disables them by firing a net at them in midair and then tows them to the ground safely. Fortem also supplies a command-and-control software platform that integrates TrueView and other sensors to alert operators or launch DroneHunter.
Toshiba’s Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions business invested in Fortem and formed the strategic alliance with the U.S. company. Toshiba has a commercial drone detection system based on radio frequency technology to detect and track small UAS systems in flight. The two companies have teamed previously to offer multi-layered C-UAS solutions, Bean said.
The new investment by Toshiba follows a $15 million investment round in Fortem in 2018 by Boeing [BA], the United Arab Emirates’ Mubadala Investment Company, and other investors.