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This Arlington company is using a $120 million acquisition to make high-tech advances on the battlefield

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An Arlington-based company that builds unmanned expeditionary vehicles for war is seeking to continue its growth with the acquisition of a robotics startup from Florida.

AeroVironment said in a press release that its $120 million acquisition of Tomahawk Robotics was finalized last week.

“We’re confident that the combined experience and expertise of our two teams will result in a variety of unmatched unmanned expeditionary vehicles that meet our customers’ emerging needs and exacting standards,” said AeroVironment’s Senior Vice President of Unmanned Systems Trace Stevenson in a statement.

AeroVironment, which works with more than 55 allied nations, plans to hire on the entire Tomahawk Robotics team and retain its facilities in Florida, CEO and Chairman Wahid Nawabi said in a statement last week.

“We’re thrilled for Tomahawk Robotics’ employees to join AeroVironment and we look forward to welcoming them into our expanding team,” he said. “Tomahawk employees will contribute to the growth of our already talented workforce and are joining AeroVironment’s culture of innovation and exploration in which they can continue to develop in their careers.”

Tomahawk Robotics, a 5-year-old startup, developed a way to embed sensors and software into a single pane of glass. When applied to unmanned vehicles, the glass provides the humans controlling these machines from afar with situational awareness and helps them launch precise attacks.

“Our motto has always been ‘warfighter first,’” Tomahawk Robotics CEO Brad Truesdell said in a statement. “Everything we’ve designed or made has been optimized to better equip and prepare soldiers on the battlefield.”

AeroVironment had already been using Tomahawk solutions for about a year when it announced the acquisition, which Stevenson says will pair “the best common controller technology with the most ubiquitous unmanned systems on the market today.”

Merging the two technologies, AeroVironment says it envisions a future where warfighters can use one controller to operate several robotic solutions in the battlefield.

One of AeroVironment’s small unmanned aircraft, the Puma VTOL Kit, in flight (courtesy AeroVironment)

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