AeroVironment Acquires Pulse Aerospace, Adding VTOL Drones to Product Suite

By Calvin Biesecker | June 12, 2019
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AeroVironment’s Family of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems support United States and more than 45 allied defense forces (Business Wire)

AeroVironment on Tuesday said it has acquired Pulse Aerospace for $25.7 million in cash, adding a product line of small vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) products to its existing suite of hand-launched fixed-wing UAS systems.

AeroVironment said the deal increases its addressable market with new mission capabilities.


The deal terms include earn-out provisions of $5 million. AeroVironment expects the transaction to be accretive to its earnings by the third full year of operations.

Pulse Aerospace makes the Vapor 15, Vapor 35 and Vapor 55 VTOL UAS that look like small helicopters and weighs 15 pounds, 35 pounds and 55 pounds, respectively. AeroVironment’s fixed-wing UAS include the Puma, Raven and Wasp man-packable, hand-launched UAS.

AeroVironment said Pulse recently received a potential multi-year $13 million contract from an undisclosed defense customer for the Vapor systems, including spares and services. The company said Pulse’s technology for flight control, payload and endurance capabilities is sold at “attractive price points for both defense and commercial end markets.”

“The talented Pulse Aerospace team has created a solution set that is unique and will expand our family of unmanned systems by addressing increasing demand from our customers for small VTOL solutions,” Wahid Nawabi, president and CEO of AeroVironment, said in a statement. “This transaction brings together two highly complementary companies in terms of products, markets and culture, and will better position AeroVironment to grow our share of the small UAS market.”

Aaron Lessig, CEO of Pulse, said in a statement that AeroVironment’s international presence will expand the reach of his company’s products.

Pulse, which is based in Lawrence, Kansas, will become AeroVironment’s Innovation Center-Midwest, with a focus on VTOL UAS and mission planning solutions.

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