WASHINGTON ― Huntington Ingalls Industries announced Jan. 4 that it has acquired the autonomy business of Spatial Integrated Systems — HII’s latest move to expand its unmanned prowess.

Roughly 50 employees from SIS, based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, joined HII’s Technical Solutions’ Unmanned Systems business group in a transaction that closed Dec. 31, HII’s announcement said. The terms were not disclosed.

SIS President and CEO Sam Lewis will lead HII’s unmanned surface vessel efforts, reporting to Duane Fotheringham, who leads the company’s Unmanned Systems business group.

“We are excited to welcome the SIS autonomy business employees to the HII family,” said Andy Green, HII executive vice president and president of technical solutions. “2020 was a significant year for HII in the unmanned systems industry, and this acquisition is the perfect complement to our existing portfolio and strategic partnerships.”

According to Huntington Ingalls, Spatial Integrated Systems fielded its unmanned solutions — including multivehicle collaborative autonomy, sensor fusion and perception — for more than 6,000 hours on 23 vessel types.

The U.S. Defense Department is using SIS unmanned technologies for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, harbor patrol, high-value unit escort missions, payload delivery, mine clearance and transporting supplies, said HII.

The recent purchase follows HII’s acquisition of Hydroid in March, a strategic alliance with Kongsberg Maritime; an equity investment in Sea Machines Robotics of Boston in July; and the groundbreaking on a new HII Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence in Hampton, Virginia, in September.

Joe Gould was the senior Pentagon reporter for Defense News, covering the intersection of national security policy, politics and the defense industry. He had previously served as Congress reporter.

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