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BAE acquires unmanned underwater vehicle producer

Riptide Autonomous Solutions will become part of BAE’s FAST Labs

BAE Systems Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of British defence contractor BAE Systems, has announced the acquisition of an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) manufacturer.

Riptide Autonomous Solutions specialises in small UUVs which are said to be efficient and flexible, offering greater depth, range, endurance, and speed.

“Adding Riptide's technological capabilities will position us to provide customers unmatched flexibility by offering a family of UUVs and integrated payload solutions capable of supporting a variety of critical missions,” said Terry Crimmins, president of BAE Systems Electronic Systems. “Coupling our extensive expertise in sonar, signal processing, sensor fusion, undersea communications, electronic warfare, and autonomous systems with Riptide’s unique UUV platforms will enable us to affordably address rapidly expanding maritime mission requirements in the global defense, commercial, and research markets.”


The company is located in Plymouth, Massachusetts. BAE said that they would maintain Riptide’s current facilities, seeing it as an opportunity to expand their presence in New England. Riptide’s employees will become part of BAE’s FAST Labs organisation, which is dedicated to innovation in defence, aerospace and security. As part of FAST Labs, Riptide’s technology will be matured and manufacturing of its products will be scaled up.

Jeff Smith, founder and president of Riptide Autonomous Solutions, said “everyone at Riptide is excited to be joining BAE Systems, given our shared focus and strategic vision for the undersea market.”

BAE described the purpose as in line with their strategy of achieving disruptive technology breakthroughs by incorporating small business innovations.