The U.S. defense budget may be shrinking but some companies see opportunity as U.K.-based Roke Manor Research said it formed a partnership with its U.S.-based sister company, Non-Intrusive Inspection Technology Inc. (NIITEK) to sell Roke’s Miniature Radar Altimeter (MRA) system in the United States.

Both firms are part of the U.K.-based Chemring Group PLC.

NIITEK, based in Dulles, Va., in a statement said it is the world leader in fielded Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) landmine and buried explosive detection systems, will also manufacture Roke’s MRA under license in the United States. The company has built a reputation for excellence and innovation in deploying and manufacturing complex sensors systems.

By partnering with NIITEK, Roke will leverage an established U.S. manufacturing capability while expanding into the U.S. market. the companies said in a mid-August statement.

The Roke MRA is the world’s smallest radar solution for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), aerial targets and missile systems, freeing up valuable space to maximize payload, the companies said.

The MRA is also lightweight, 1.5 kg lighter than traditional radar altimeters, and is designed to plug and play for easy integration into all major UAV platforms.

Paul Webb, Unmanned Systems Business Sector Manager for Roke, said: "NIITEK has a reputation for innovation and product development, which fits well with Roke’s pedigree in leading the U.K. defense R&D market. We believe demand will be high in the USA for the MRA as it is the smallest and most accurate product of its kind in the world. The MRA will deliver the USA the best of both worlds – cost effectiveness, but without compromising product capability and reliability."