21 Sep 2017

Lockheed Martin Ventures announces strategic maritime investment

Lockheed Martin Ventures has announced a strategic investment in Ocean Aero, developer of the Submaran unmanned maritime vehicle.

This is the third Lockheed Martin Ventures investment to be made in 2017, and it represents a valuable opportunity for both businesses to advance their maritime capabilities – with specific focus on multi-domain Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR).

The Submaran is a brand new class of unmanned underwater and surface vessel intended for ocean observation and data collection. Powered by wind and solar energy, the craft is capable of travelling months at a time in extreme weather conditions. What’s more, it can dive to a depth of 660ft to avoid surface traffic or conduct C4ISR operations.

According to Chris Moran, Executive Director and General Manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures: “Ocean Aero represents the next generation of environmentally powered, autonomous ocean systems. Our investment will allow us to better respond to customers’ maritime needs with technology solutions for a diverse set of missions.”

For Ocean Aero, Lockheed Martin Ventures is the developer’s second significant investor, with marine instrumentation specialist Teledyne Technologies backing the business since 2014.

The partnership followed a successful, multi-domain unmanned systems technology demonstration held at the 2016 Annual Naval Technology Exercise at the Naval Undersea Warfare Centre in Newport, Rhode Island.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to grow our business and leverage the strengths of Lockheed Martin to accelerate innovation in the autonomous domain,” said Eric Patten, CEO and President of Ocean Aero.

While Lockheed Martin has provided financial backing to venture stage companies since 2007, the business has since refocused, prioritising long-term, strategic investment in technological innovations with potential enough to deliver growth in new and existing markets.

Primarily, the fund invests in early-stage companies, and its priorities include autonomous systems and robotics, cyber security, artificial intelligence, advanced electronics and sensor technologies.

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