Textron finalizes acquisition of robotics company


WASHINGTON — Textron has completed its acquisition of robotics firm Howe & Howe Technologies, Inc., a move that could pave the way for Textron to become a bigger figure in the world of unmanned ground vehicles.

The acquisition was finalized on Dec. 17, the companies said on Thursday. Textron announced in October that it intended to purchase the Waterboro, Maine-based company.

Textron buys ground robot manufacturer Howe & Howe

The companies have not disclosed the price or terms of the sale.

Howe & Howe specializes in robotic ground vehicles and is known for its development of innovative technology. That makes it a natural fit for Textron, which is known for building unmanned systems —predominantly drones like the RQ-9 Shadow and maritime assets like the common unmanned surface vehicle that can deploy from a littoral combat ship to find mines.

“This acquisition positions us as a global provider of unmanned capabilities across all three domains, demonstrating our commitment to our military customers in support of their vision and future technology needs for autonomy, robotics and unmanned systems,” Textron Systems President & CEO Lisa Atherton said in a statement.

Howe & Howe Technologies Senior Vice President Michael Howe said that his company’s inventiveness, coupled with Textron’s experience selling unmanned systems to the government, “makes for an extremely formidable combination.”

Several of Howe & Howe’s robotic land vehicles have been evaluated by the U.S. Army. Its Ripsaw super tank, a small unmanned tank that can aid in perimeter defense and surveillance missions, has undergone testing at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, but as of 2017 the service had not made a decision on whether to purchase it, wrote Military.com.

Howe & Howe’s RS2-H1 robot, which can carry a platoon’s equipment, is competing against three other unmanned land vehicles for the Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport program contract. two Army infantry brigade combat teams and a not-yet-disclosed Marine unit are currently assessing the four contenders ahead of a downselect, Army Times reported last year.

Published: 2019-01-10 12:30:40