Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is considering the acquisition of fellow unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturer Aeronautics, it has been revealed.
In a Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) notification, Aeronautics claimed that IAI is in talks regarding the buy, adding in a separate notification that it is also discussing the sale of its share in electro-optical/infrared sensor developer Controp Precision Technologies, which it co-owns with Rafael.
Aeronautics develops UAVs including the Orbiter family of UAVs/loitering munitions and Aerostar tactical UAV, as well as the Dominator XP medium-altitude long-endurance system that is derived from the Diamond DA42 twin-engine utility aircraft.
IAI develops high-end UAV systems, including the Heron family of systems.
Israeli businessman Aaron Frenkel purchased shares in Aeronautics in late December, including those from Phoenix Holdings, making him the largest shareholder in the company.
Aeronautics added on 31 December that the company's offices were searched by the Israel Securities Authorities, although no further details have been provided.
The company has been the subject of an investigation concerning potential export control violations, and in August 2018 personnel from the company were summoned to the State Attorney's Office regarding the issue. Aeronautics has said it believes there is no basis for criminal proceedings against the firm or its employees.
Aeronautics is expanding its reach via its various sales in Europe and beyond. In late December it was announced that as part of its Azad Systems joint venture with Azerbaijan, an academy had been opened to train army pilots to use UAVs, including the Orbiter and Aerostar.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at ihsmarkit.com/janes