WASHINGTON — The unmanned space has seen an uptick in acquisition activity recently.

BAE Systems — the U.S. subsidiary of British multinational defense, aerospace and security company BAE Systems plc — announced the purchase of key assets of Riptide Autonomous Solutions, a provider of unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) technology and solutions.

According to the press release, Riptide will offer UUV technology with greater depth, range, endurance and speed.

“Adding Riptide’s technological capabilities will position us to provide customers unmatched flexibility by offering a family of UUVs and integrated payload solutions capable of supporting a variety of critical missions,” said Terry Crimmins, president of BAE Systems Electronic Systems, in the announcement.

“Coupling our extensive expertise in sonar, signal processing, sensor fusion, undersea communications, electronic warfare, and autonomous systems with Riptide’s unique UUV platforms will enable us to affordably address rapidly expanding maritime mission requirements in the global defense, commercial, and research markets.”

Hints of interest in the market emerged a couple years ago, when BAE Systems was awarded a $4.6 million contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in 2017 for work that would allow submarines to detect other undersea vessels at greater distances without being detected.

Other companies have showcased similar interest. Boeing received a $274 million Navy contract March 28 for five extra-large UUVs.

Kelsey Reichmann is a general assignment editorial fellow supporting Defense News, Fifth Domain, C4ISRNET and Federal Times. She attended California State University.

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