Courtesey / Anduril

Anduril Buys Robotic Submarine Maker Dive Technologies

The company says its technologies will allow it to become a player in the undersea domain.

Anduril has acquired underwater drone maker Dive Technologies, the latest acquisition for the defense and technology startup disrupting the defense contracting sector.

The addition of the Quincy, Massachusetts-based robotic submarine maker allows Anduril to bring its autonomous software expertise into the maritime market. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“What we're going to be able to do here is really deliver a system that is truly autonomous, that is capable of operating in the environments that it has to operate in autonomously, and do it at a fraction of the cost” of current systems, Chris Brose, Anduril’s chief strategy officer, said in an interview. 

Anduril’s technology allows for fewer people to be involved in the operation of the remote submarines, Brose said. By contract, many of the U.S. military’s unmanned aircraft require numerous people to operate.

The acquisition of Dive comes less than two weeks after Anduril scored a nearly $1 billion U.S. Special Operations Command deal for counter-drone technology. Dive’s name will live on in product names, but the company is now the maritime division of Anduril.

“The decision to go undersea was not random,” Brose said. When we look at the kind of operating environment that the DOD is going to have to confront, being undersea is much more compelling than being on the surface.”

The company’s signature product is the Dive-LD, a small, 3-D printed submarine that can be loaded with sonar, cameras and other types of sensors. 

“The very novel thing that they've done on the architecture of the vehicle is really built it to be open and modular and scalable, so that you can do integration of new sensors, new payloads in weeks rather than months, which is kind of par for the course of present with legacy systems,” Brose said.

To date, Anduril has not “gone to sea,” but it has built a company around a “software-first” culture, Brose said.

“Where our expertise and capability really comes to bear is in things like AI-enabled sensor processing, and fusion, command and control, autonomy, kind of intelligent networking, communications, things like that,” he said. “The complementarity between the teams and the technologies is pretty remarkable and the thing that we're really excited about is kind of making that integration and then moving fast together, to get to lower cost, more autonomous, kind of greater scales of systems.”

In other words, operating multiple vehicles alongside one another to “field disruptive approaches to the threats and challenges and problems that we're facing, where more of the same, better versions of old things just isn't going to close,” Brose said.

Andruil is planning to grow Dive’s 30-person team and launch new projects.

“All of us together have very ambitious goals for where we want to go together,” Brose said.