IAI acquires 50% of BlueBird Aero Systems
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has agreed to acquire 50% of the equity of UAS developer BlueBird Aero Systems, the company announced on 24 September.
In a statement, IAI said that as part of the transaction it was acquiring the holdings of Piramal Technologies SA from India, as well as additional shares from Fiberless Access and Bluebird CEO Ronen Nadir. Nadir retains 50% of BlueBird shares and will continue to serve as the company’s CEO.
The move comes after several years of both companies focusing on vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities for ground and naval forces.
BlueBird’s VTOL platforms include the WanderB-VTOL (pictured) and ThunderB-VTOL and it recently sold more than 70 systems to an undisclosed customer.
‘This acquisition is part of the implementation of IAI’s strategy in the UAS sector and a significant potential IAI foresees in the small tactical UAS market for military, HLS, and commercial applications,’ the company statement said.
‘The acquisition will enable IAI to grow its operations and revenues, accelerate technological developments while lowering costs, reduce time to market process, and improve competitiveness.’
Nadir said that with IAI’s ‘vast technological and innovative abilities and its infrastructure and world market access’, Bluebird would continue to grow the company and extend its market share.
Moshe Levy, IAI EVP and General Manager of the Military Aircraft Group of IAI, said the acquisition of BlueBird was ‘an important leap forward’ in developing the next IAI UAV family.
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