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AeroVironment buys autonomy firm Planck Aerosystems

AeroVironment plans to incorporate Planck's technology into its Jump 20 unmanned aircraft. (Janes/Pat Host)

US-based AeroVironment has expanded its unmanned aircraft system (UAS) capabilities by acquiring autonomy business Planck Aerosystems, the buyer announced on 17 August.

AeroVironment said it plans to incorporate Planck's technology into its existing platforms, such as its Jump 20 fixed-wing, vertical take-off and landing UAS, to enable take-offs and landings from moving platforms on land or at sea. AeroVironment will also gain its first tethered UAS with the transaction.

โ€œBy working together, we believe we offer more compelling and differentiated solutions to our customers moving forward,โ€ AeroVironment chairman, president, and CEO Wahid Nawabi said.

Founded in 2014, Planck is based in San Diego, California, and serves defence and commercial customers. It will become part of AeroVironment's Medium UAS business segment, which is based in Petaluma, California.

AeroVironment described Planck as a โ€œsmallโ€ company but did not elaborate. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

AeroVironment acquired Jump 20 manufacturer Arcturus UAV for USD405 million in cash and stock in February 2021. Its other recent acquisitions include unmanned ground vehicle provider Telerob and artificial intelligence software firm Intelligent Systems Group (ISG).

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