AeroVironment announced it has acquired Arcturus UAV in a $405m deal, expanding its portfolio of uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) into new market areas.

Arcturus’s products focus on ‘Group 2 and 3’ UAVs which cover the lighter end of the market. Arcturus UAV’s Jump 20 UAV is currently in the running for a major US Army contract to replace the in-service RQ-7 Shadow UAV.

The Jump 20 uses a fixed-wing design but is also capable of vertical take-off and landing meaning it can be launched without a runway.

Aerovironment president and chief executive officer Wahid Nawabi said: “We are excited about the opportunities for value creation through our acquisition of Arcturus UAV, which will enable us to accelerate our growth strategy and expand our reach into the more valuable Group 2 and 3 UAS segments.

“Group 2 and 3 UAS and services, collectively, potentially represent more than one billion dollars in annual contract value, according to an independent forecast.”

The deal worth $355m in cash and $50m in Aerovironment stock has been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies and will see ‘key members’ of the Arcturus UAV executive team stay in ‘leadership positions’.

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Nawabi added: “Combining our highly complementary products and technologies will enhance our portfolio, deliver top and bottom-line growth, and enable us to provide customers with a complete set of Group 1 through 3 UAS, tactical missile systems, high-altitude pseudo-satellites and unmanned ground vehicle solutions.

“Through this expanded portfolio, we will be well-positioned to serve a broader range of customer missions across multiple domains and significantly enhance value for shareholders over the near and long-term.”

Subject to conditions and approvals the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Arcturus UAV president and chief executive officer D’Milo Hallerberg said: “AeroVironment’s depth of experience in UAS and tactical missile systems, international presence, and impressive team is a natural fit for Arcturus UAV, and will create substantial opportunities to build on our strong momentum.

“With the support of AeroVironment, we will have greater scale, expanded resources, cutting-edge technology and superior capabilities to meet the growing global demand for our products and solutions. We are confident that with AeroVironment, we can accelerate our growth as part of a larger, more diverse company and look forward to working closely with the team to complete this exciting transaction.”

Hanwha to net 30% stake in Satrec

In the same week, South Korean defence giant Hanwha Aerospace announced it had acquired a 30% stake in satellite manufacture Satrec Initiative. Hanwha said Satrec is the only Korean company able to develop core-satellite components including satellite bodies, ground systems and electro-optical payloads.

Hanwha has a firm footing in South Korea’s space industry and is currently leading the development of a liquid-fuel rocket engine.

Finally, Aerospace Welding Minneapolis Inc (AWI) and Aerospace Manufacturing Inc (AMI) announced they had acquired some from Dawley Aviation Crop.