US military shipbuilding company Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has strengthened its portfolio by acquiring Spatial Integrated Systems’ (SIS) autonomy business.

The acquisition, which closed on 31 December, is the latest move by HII in expanding its capabilities in the unmanned domain.

HII executive vice-president and Technical Solutions president Andy Green said: “We are excited to welcome the SIS autonomy business employees to the HII family.

“2020 was a significant year for HII in the unmanned systems industry, and this acquisition is the perfect complement to our existing portfolio and strategic partnerships.”

The transaction further expands HII’s unmanned systems capabilities with SIS’ workforce and proven unmanned surface vessel (USV) solutions.

The deal has also seen HII add about 50 employees from SIS, mostly in Virginia Beach, to its Technical Solutions’ unmanned systems business group.

SIS CEO and founder Ali Farsaie said: “I am pleased that HII will carry on SIS’s vision to deliver advanced autonomy to our armed forces in support of our national interest.”

Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Technical Solutions Unmanned Systems business group president Duane Fotheringham said: “SIS is a leader in autonomous technology, and this acquisition adds significant breadth to our unmanned systems solutions.

“This technology and the talented team provide unmatched capabilities in multi-domain collaborative autonomy and perception, allowing HII to uniquely address our customers’ needs.”

According to HII, the US Department of Defence is already using SIS technology for mission applications such as harbour patrol, mine clearance and transport of supplies.

In recent months, HII acquired Hydroid and made an equity investment in Sea Machines.

In November last year, HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division received a contract modification for the construction of the US Navy’s Columbia-class submarines.