Leonardo DRS, Inc. announced today that it has acquired Ascendant Engineering Solutions (AES), one of the world’s most advanced gimbal producers.
AES is a leader in the design, development and manufacturing of high-performance, stabilized, multi-sensor gimbal systems for the growing market of Group 1, 2 and 3 UAS across U.S. military services. With its advanced systems, the company is focused on gimbal payload opportunities in strategic U.S. government programs including those intended to counter current and next-generation anti-access and area-denial systems. AES is located in Austin, Texas, home of the Army’s Futures Command.
This acquisition will enable Leonardo DRS to integrate its own state-of-the-art Electro-Optical and Infrared components and systems with the AES advanced gimbals to offer integrated solutions that can address the fast-growing market for lightweight military platforms including small unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
“The compelling need for smaller and more lightweight sensing systems is one of the most critical priorities of defense forces around the world,” said Jerry Hathaway, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Leonardo DRS Electro-Optic and Infrared Systems business.
“Leonardo DRS is well-positioned to address this fast-growing small gimbal market with the new lightweight capabilities that AES brings across a wide range of military platforms, from aircraft to maritime to ground vehicles as well as ground-based security platforms, Hathaway said. “Leonardo DRS is proud to add this smaller and more advanced integrated solution set that combines our leading sensors into best-in-class, small-form gimbal-based sensor systems to give our warfighters one more battlefield edge,” he added.
Leonardo DRS is a world leader in state-of-the-art sensor systems addressing a range of military needs including targeting, surveillance and force protection. This acquisition will allow Leonardo DRS to further vertically integrate its advanced sensors and gimbals. These integrated technologies permit military platforms to sense their environments at greater distances in real-time providing intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) imagery and targeting information to airborne and ground forces to extend their reach and survivability.
Gimbal-based sensor technology is part of the larger Leonardo DRS advanced sensor technology portfolio, which has an extensive installed base across the U.S. military. Force protection is a key strategic focus for Leonardo DRS as the company brings together its world-leading sensing and laser technologies to provide defensive protective systems for the men and women of the U.S. armed forces.