Anduril Industries, a Californian startup that develops integrated autonomous systems for defense applications, has acquired Blue Force Technologies, a developer of unmanned aerial systems based in North Carolina.
With the deal, Anduril will add “Fury”, a high-performance autonomous air vehicle, to its portfolio of unmanned aerial systems, which includes two other drones called “Ghost” and “ALTIUS.”
Fury, which has been in development since 2019, can reach Mach 0.95 speeds and perform 9G turns when in flight, giving it fighter-like capabilities that can be used in a variety of missions.
Anduril Industries is a relatively new player in the US defense industry. The firm, which includes founders from the tech industry with close links to the Silicon Valley ecosystem, aims to bring an agile approach to the development of new integrated data-centric combat systems.
In May 2023 Anduril released its Lattice software platform, which acts as the operating system for a whole suite of autonomous military systems that can operate coordinately in contested environments.
Artificial intelligence technology enables the constellation of systems to act in a networked way, while minimizing the need for human intervention, something which Anduril refers to as “mission autonomy”.
The ongoing war in Ukraine has highlighted the increasing importance of unmanned systems in the modern battlefield and drawn the attention of military planners, legislators, and defense technology companies alike.
The Pentagon is expected to allocate billions of dollars in the near term to unmanned combat systems, such as the “Replicator” drone program unveiled on August 28, 2023.
Companies like Anduril are betting on such technologies to play an increasingly more important role in the way the US military prepares for war.