L3 adds undersea drone energy company Open Water Power

L3 Technologies has made a second acquisition in the underwater drone arena within the past month with the company’s latest purchase of power generation technology company Open Water Power.

Open Water Power will join the unmanned undersea vehicle maker now known as L3 OceanServer as part of the New York City-based defense contractor’s sensor systems segment. L3 acquired OceanServer in April to continue a year-long spree of purchases by major defense primes including Boeing and General Dynamics of underwater drone companies.

The Navy has allocated $279 million in current fiscal year spend for the procurement and development of underwater drones. Key focus areas include sea mine detection and meteorological testing, according to the Center for the Study of the Drone.

Somerville, Mass.-based Open Water Power builds its technologies to use energy stored in aluminum metal to power underwater drones and other maritime platforms. The company designs its energy systems to be activated with water and have a similar safety profile to that of household alkaline batteries.

L3 has picked up the pace on deals since the company divested the former National Security Solutions business to CACI International for $550 million in February 2016. Since that sale, L3 has spent roughly that same amount on acquisitions primarily on technology manufacturers.

Major acquisitions in 2016 for L3 include U.K-based airport security technology maker MacDonald Humfrey, pilot training provider Aerosim and Australia-based electronic warfare subsystems provider Micreo Limited. L3 closed its purchase of Implant Sciences’ explosives trace detection business in January and the OceanServer deal took place three months later.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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