BAE Systems is to strengthen its presence in the unmanned aircraft system sector by acquiring Tucson, Arizona-based firm Advanced Ceramics Research (ACR).

BAE on 12 March announced that it has "entered into a definitive agreement" to purchase privately owned ACR, which produces small, mini and tactical-class air vehicles and also manufactures ceramic materials for the military and commercial aerospace sectors. The deal will be completed "following receipt of regulatory approvals", the company adds.

Manta UAV - H V Nguyen/ACR 
© H V Nguyen/ACR

ACR's UAS product range includes the Manta (above), Coyote (below upper), and Silver Fox (below lower) designs, all of which can be supported using its own integrated ground control station. It employs 60 people.

 Coyote UAV - ACR

 Silver Fox UAV - ACR

Both images © ACR

"The addition of these smaller UAS platforms will complement the larger UAS being developed by BAE Systems in the UK," says BAE Systems Inc chief executive Walt Havenstein, referring to existing systems such as Herti and Mantis.

BAE says the acquisition also supports chief executive Ian King's vision of developing the company into "a major player" in the UAS sector by leveraging capabilities in its six home markets: Australia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, the UK and the USA.

Source: Flight International