FLIR Acquires Drone Manufacturer Altavian

Thermal imaging giant FLIR acquires drone manufacturer Altavian in a move to provide “comprehensive mission coverage within Group 1 Unmanned Systems for Defense Customers,” says a FLIR release today.

“FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) announced today that it has acquired Altavian, Inc., a privately-held manufacturer of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) for defense and public safety customers. Altavian’s airframes integrate multiple sensors, including FLIR thermal technology, to provide users with decision support and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability,” says the release.

Founded in 2011, the Gainesville, Florida-based Altavian designs and manufacturers Group 1 UAS solutions for long or short range operations. Altavian’s M440 Ion is one of five U.S.-manufactured drone solutions on the U.S. Department of Defense “Blue sUAS” list of trusted solutions for U.S. military and federal agencies.

FLIR’s acquisition of Altavian is the latest acquisition of a drone manufacturer, allowing the company to offer a fully integrated drone solution with their thermal imaging payloads.  Last year, FLIR acquired the assets of tethered drone company Aria, formerly known as CyPhy Works, invested $200 million in Canadian drone manufacturer Aeryon, and made a significant investment in drone operations company DroneBase.

“Altavian’s proven engineering expertise and assets will allow us to offer customers the most comprehensive solution portfolio of any American sUAS provider,” said Roger Wells, General Manager of the Unmanned Systems and Integrated Solutions business of FLIR Systems’ Defense Technologies Segment, under which Altavian will be integrated. “With the addition of both a low-cost, rapidly deployable quadcopter and a longer range fixed-wing UAS, FLIR is strengthening its already impressive drone lineup, including our Black Hornet® and SkyRaider platforms used extensively by militaries around the globe. We’re excited about the multiple new franchise opportunities FLIR will be able to pursue for defense, public safety, and industrial markets worldwide.”

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