AeroVironment, a world-leading unmanned aircraft system (UAS) manufacturer, has expanded its overall portfolio after completing the US$405m acquisition of Arcturus UAV on February 19.
The US-based UAS manufacturer revealed that it had entered a definitive agreement to purchase Arcturus on January 13 and completed the acquisition just over a month later. It added that the total cost of the deal comprises US$355m in cash and US$50m worth of AeroVironment stock.
The newly-procured Arcturus will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of AeroVironment, expanding the latter’s portfolio with the addition of new lines of medium-sized Group 2 and 3 UAS platforms. AeroVironment has not previously offered Group 3 solutions, so its acquisition of Arcturus will bridge that gap in the UAS market.
Based in Petaluma, California, Arcturus was founded in 2004 and employs approximately 270 employees. It solely designs and manufactures Group 2 and 3 unmanned aircraft, which weigh between 20lb and 1,300lb. The firm also provides related operational solutions, including contractor-owned, contractor-operated (COCO) services.
In a press release issued after the purchase was completed, Wahid Nawabi, president and CEO of AeroVironment, said: “As we welcome the Arcturus UAV team to AeroVironment, we commit to maintaining or exceeding the high level of service our existing and new customers experience. The JUMP 20 and T-20 platforms, combined with associated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services, represent a significant expansion to AeroVironment’s portfolio of intelligent, multi-domain robotic systems that will enhance long-term shareholder value and help our customers around the world proceed with certainty.”
Arcturus is a leading supplier of unmanned systems to US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and is currently supporting its Mid-Endurance UAS (MEUAS) III and IV programmes – worth a combined total of US$1.4bn. It is also one of four companies to have been contracted by the US Army to develop and demonstrate next-generation UAS solutions under the service’s billion-dollar Future Tactical UAS (FTUAS) project.
The company’s product line currently includes the JUMP 20 and the T-20. The former is a multi-mission, medium endurance vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAS, which can be deployed to and from austere environments, requiring no launch equipment or paved runways. The latter is a catapult-launched, multi-mission, medium endurance platform.
Both platforms can be equipped with a range of payloads, including communication relays, electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) gimbals, 3D mapping, equipment, a synthetic aperture radar (SAR), light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems and communications intelligence (COMINT) and signals intelligence (SIGINT) suites.