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US aircraft carrier builder buying unmanned systems specialist Hydroid

Remus UUV
Photo: Hydroid

The sole builder of US Navy aircraft carriers, Huntington Ingalls Industries, is acquiring advanced marine robotics provider Hydroid Inc.

What is more, Hydroid is a US based indirect subsidiary of Norway’s Kongsberg Maritime, and HII and Kongsberg Maritime are establishing a strategic alliance to jointly market naval and maritime products and services to the US government market and potentially to global markets.

Based in Pocasset, Massachusetts, Hydroid will become part of HII’s Technical Solutions division. The transaction is subject to regulatory review and customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

The value of the transaction is $350 million, HII added, noting that this would be effectively reduced by tax benefits that are preliminarily valued over $50 million.

Hydroid’s most popular product is arguably the REMUS line of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) which are used worldwide for defense, marine research and commercial applications. In one of the more recent examples, the Croatian Armed Forces used a REMUS drone to locate a Kiowa helicopter after it crashed into the Adriatic Sea on January 27.

“We are very excited about bringing Hydroid into the HII family and establishing a strategic alliance with Kongsberg Maritime,” said Mike Petters, HII’s president and CEO.

“Hydroid’s advanced capabilities and reputation for excellence in autonomous and unmanned maritime systems provide the perfect complement to our existing unmanned operations, including Proteus in Panama City and our partnership with Boeing to produce the Orca XLUUV. This transaction, along with the strategic alliance with Kongsberg Maritime, demonstrates our long term commitment to the US Navy, the US Coast Guard and our national security customers and allies globally.”