Leonardo DRS has acquired gimbals producing company Ascendant Engineering Solutions (AES) for an undisclosed consideration.

With this deal, Leonardo DRS can combine its own advanced electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) components and systems with the AES advanced gimbals.

This integration will offer solutions that help address the fast-growing market for lightweight military platforms, including small uncrewed aerial systems (UAS).

The acquisition will also enable Leonardo DRS to vertically integrate its advanced sensors and gimbals.

According to the company, these integrated technologies allow military platforms to track their environments at higher distances in real-time.

Airborne and ground forces will receive the intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) imagery and targeting information from these technologies and can extend their reach and survivability.

Leonardo DRS electro-optical and infrared systems senior vice-president and general manager Jerry Hathaway said: “The compelling need for smaller and more lightweight sensing systems is one of the most critical priorities of defence forces around the world.

“Leonardo DRS is proud to add this smaller and more advanced integrated solution set that combines our leading sensors into best-in-class, small-form gimbal-based sensor systems to give our warfighters one more battlefield edge.”

Leonardo DRS’ advanced sensor technology portfolio includes gimbal-based sensor technology.

This technology has been highly installed across the US military base.

Based in Austin, AES designs, develops and manufactures high-performance, stabilised, multi-sensor gimbal systems for Group 1, 2 and 3 UAS across the US military services.

Last month, Leonardo DRS secured a contract for the next generation of US Army mission command computing systems known as the Mounted Family of Computer Systems (MFoCS) II.