Huntington Ingalls Buys Kongsberg's Hydroid UUV Division

A team with the Department of Naval Research deploys a modified REMUS 600 for mine countermeasures testing (USN)

Published Feb 5, 2020 4:50 PM by The Maritime Executive

Huntington Ingalls Industries announced Wednesday that it has agreed to buy Massachussets-based marine robotics company Hydroid from its current owner, Kongsberg Maritime. HII and Kongsberg are also establishing an alliance to market their joint capabilities to the U.S. government.

Hydroid is best known as the maker of the REMUS series of underwater unmanned vehicles (UUVs), which are in widespread commercial, scientific and government use for oceanographic research, surveying, hydrography and (with special adaptations) for mine countermeasures. In November, Hydroid also took over responsibility for Kongsberg's Seaglider long-endurance research drone product line.

Kongsberg retains its high-spec HUGIN autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) product line and the new Eelume offshore service drone, which were not part of Hydroid at the time of the transaction. 

The U.S. Navy provides the majority of Hydroid's business and the overwhelming majority of HII's business. Navy leadership has signaled an intention to look at unmanned and minimally-manned vessel options in order to achieve mission goals in the decades ahead; in a statement, HII said that it sees Hydroid as an important addition to its portfolio in the growing unmanned systems market. 

The value of the transaction is $350 million, and HII expects that tax benefits will absorb about $50 million of the purchase price. Kongsberg paid $80 million to buy Hydroid in 2007 and is realizing a significant net profit from the sale. 

"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," said HII president and CEO Mike Petters. "This transaction, along with the strategic alliance with Kongsberg Maritime, demonstrates our long term commitment to the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard and our national security customers and allies globally."