Advanced Gimbal Developer Will Enhance Government Solutions
Leonardo DRS has acquired Ascendant Engineering Solutions (AES), a leading developer of advanced gimbals based in Austin, TX, the company announced on 5 August.
Providing high-performance, stabilised, multi-sensor gimbal systems for the growing market of Group 1, 2 and 3 Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), AES is focused on gimbal payload opportunities in strategic US government programmes, including those intended to counter current and next-generation anti-access and area-denial (A2AD) systems. The acquisition will enable Leonardo DRS to integrate its own state-of-the-art EO/IR components and systems with the AES advanced gimbals to offer integrated solutions addressing the fast-growing market for lightweight military platforms, including small UAS.
“The compelling need for smaller and more lightweight sensing systems is one of the most critical priorities of defense forces around the world,” commented Jerry Hathaway, SVP/GM 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.”
Leonardo DRS is a 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 allow military platforms to sense their environments at greater distances in real time, providing 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 US military. Force protection is a key strategic focus for the company as it brings together its sensing and laser technologies to provide defensive protective systems for the US and other operators.