US-based drone company FLIR Systems has acquired Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) firm Aeryon Labs in a $200 million deal.
Based in Canada, Aeryon is a leading designer and manufacturer of drone solutions built around aircraft under 9kg.
The company mainly works with global military, public safety, and critical infrastructure market with 20 military agencies in more than 30 countries as customers, including the US Defence Department.
“As drone technology and its markets evolve, customers are seeking UAS as just one component of a broader solution,” says Dave Kroetsch, co-founder and CTO of Aeryon.
“While Aeryon has been evolving in that direction for the past few years, being part of FLIR Systems brings a path to include our hardware and software technologies in much bigger solutions than would have ever been possible on our own.”
For FLIR, the acquisition adds Aeryon’s crown jewel, the SkyRanger drone system, to their already impressive array of solutions. The UAS system is portable and can be launched in minutes by an operator in the field, making it ideal for military and public-safety operations.
Police agencies have already used SkyRanger to locate missing persons in Canada and North Carolina.
It is also used by Michigan State Police and is a key part of Microsoft’s Advanced Patrol Platform car.
Aeryon Labs will integrate into the FLIR Government and Defence Business Unit’s Unmanned Systems and Integrated Solutions division.
“The acquisition of Aeryon Labs reinforces our long-term strategy to move beyond providing sensors to the development of complete solutions that save lives and livelihoods,” said Jim Cannon, President and CEO of FLIR Systems.
“This acquisition, coupled with our acquisition of Prox Dynamics in 2016, greatly increases our unmanned systems solutions capabilities, expanding beyond nano-UAS into Group 1 UAS solutions for military.
“We intend to continue to invest and build this area of our business and broaden our capabilities as we view unmanned and autonomous solutions to be a significant opportunity for organic growth in the coming years.”
Earlier this year, FLIR announced an $89 million contract from the French Defence Procurement Agency in support of the French Operational Pocket Drone (DrOP) program.
The contract will deploy the company’s FLIR Black Hornet 3 nano-unmanned drone to support French Armed Forces operations.
Source: Drone Life
Aeryon co-founder Dave Kroetsch … ‘bigger solutions’