Lockheed Martin Ventures is making a strategic investment in Ocean Aero, the developer of the Submaran™ unmanned maritime vehicle. This is Lockheed Martin Ventures' third investment this year, and it will create opportunities for both companies to grow their maritime capabilities, with a focus on multi-domain Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR).
Lockheed Martin Ventures is Ocean Aero's second significant investor, joining marine instrumentation leader Teledyne Technologies, which has invested in Ocean Aero since 2014.
"Ocean Aero represents the next generation of environmentally powered, autonomous ocean systems," said Chris Moran, executive director and general manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures. "Our investment will allow us to better respond to customers' maritime needs with technology solutions for a diverse set of missions."
The Submaran™ is a new class of unmanned underwater and surface vessel for ocean observation and data collection. Powered by wind and solar energy, the Submaran™ is capable of traveling for months, even in extreme conditions. In addition, it's easy to deploy and recover, and can dive to depths of 660 feet to avoid surface traffic or to conduct C4ISR operations.
Lockheed Martin partnered with Ocean Aero on a successful, multi-domain unmanned systems technology demonstration during the 2016 Annual Naval Technology Exercise at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island. This investment will allow the companies to continue to demonstrate their expertise in configuring teams of autonomous systems for complex missions.
"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 funding to venture stage companies since 2007, it refocused in 2016 to long-term, strategic investments in technology innovations that could drive growth in existing and new markets for the company. The fund invests primarily in early-stage companies, and its technology priorities include autonomous systems and robotics, cyber security, artificial intelligence, advanced electronics and sensor technologies.