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AUSA 2022: Sierra Nevada buys drone maker Volansi

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has acquired the assets of Volansi, which makes the Voly-T unmanned aircraft. (Janes/Marc Selinger)

US-based aerospace company Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has expanded its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) portfolio by acquiring the assets and intellectual property of Volansi, which specialises in building vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drones, the buyer announced on 10 October.

Tim Owings, executive vice-president of SNC's Mission Solutions and Technologies business area, told reporters at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) 2022 conference held in Washington, DC, from 10 to 12 October, that Volansi recently lost its venture capital backing and ceased operations. SNC stepped in to acquire and revive the ailing seven-year-old business because the two companies had been working together.

SNC and Volansi have been jointly offering Volansi's Voly Tactical (Voly-T) for Increment 2 of the US Army's Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) programme, with SNC serving as the prime contractor and providing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) integration. Following the acquisition, SNC will continue proposing the Voly-T but will rename it.

SNC paid an undisclosed amount of cash for Volansi and will gain a factory in Bend, Oregon, and about 30 employees. Volansi co-founder and CEO Hannan Parvizian will depart. SNC is considering combining its existing unmanned systems activities and Volansi into a new business unit, Owings indicated.

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