Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has signed an agreement to acquire underwater technology company Hydroid from Kongsberg Maritime in a deal valued at $350m.

The companies will establish a strategic alliance to offer naval and maritime products and services to the US Government market and potentially to other global markets.

Hydroid, the US-based wholly-owned subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime, was acquired for $80m in 2007 and specialises in unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) design, engineering, production, and support.

The company builds autonomous underwater vessels and sells them to military and commercial clients, with the US Navy its biggest customer.

Hydroid will become part of Huntington’s Technical Solutions division as part of the deal.

With the acquisition of Hydroid, Huntington will be able to expand its capabilities in the strategically important autonomous and unmanned maritime systems market.

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Huntington Ingalls Industries president and CEO Mike Petters said: “Hydroid’s advanced capabilities and reputation for excellence in autonomous and unmanned maritime systems provide the perfect complement to our existing unmanned operations, including Proteus in Panama City and our partnership with Boeing to produce the Orca XLUUV.

“This transaction, along with the strategic alliance with Kongsberg Maritime, demonstrates our long-term commitment to the US Navy, the US Coast Guard and our national security customers and allies globally.”

As part of the partnership, the combined capabilities and resources of Huntington and Kongsberg Maritime will be leveraged to sell products and solutions to both US and global customers in the underwater segments.

Subject to regulatory review and customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of the year.

Kongsberg Maritime president Egil Haugsdal said: “This alliance will allow a wider range of our maritime solutions for both naval and civilian usage in the United States and the rest of the world.”

In December 2018, Huntington purchased Maryland-based cybersecurity solutions and services company G2 for an undisclosed amount.