Hydroid joins the Huntington family
Kongsberg Maritime sells underwater technology company
Kongsberg Maritime of Norway has signed an agreement to sell its underwater technology company Hydroid for $350 million to Huntington Ingalls Industries. Huntington is the largest supplier of vessels to the U.S. Navy. The agreement provides that the two companies will enter into a strategic alliance agreement concerning underwater technology and maritime solutions.
Hydroid was founded in 2001 by the inventors of the REMUS 6000 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to allow this remarkable technology to reach a wider market and to provide for continuous product development. Since then, the company’s unstaffed underwater vehicle has provided innovative, rapidly deployable solutions for use in defense, marine research, and commercial applications.
Ocean exploration has traditionally been dominated by surface ship technology. Hydroid’s autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) are changing the game. Their AUVs can dive to depths of 19,685 feet, explore shallow waters, and hover in hazardous areas where navigation is difficult. They helped locate the Air France Flight 447 wreckage, after the plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1, 2009. The AUV also generated 3-D mapping of the Titanic.
The startup was acquired by Kongsberg Maritime for $80 million in 2007. It has its head office in Pocasset, Mass. Last year, Hydroid achieved revenue of NOK 862 million and earnings before interest and taxes of NOK 120 million. The order backlog at the end of the year was NOK 813 million. The company is a leading supplier of advanced marine robotics in both the naval and civilian markets in the United States. The U.S. Navy is its biggest customer.
“Kongsberg Maritime has driven technology development and created considerable value during the 12 years it has owned Hydroid, and we are capitalizing on this now,” said Geir Håøy, president and CEO of the Kongsberg Group. “We are proud to have positioned the company as a leading supplier of small and medium-sized autonomous underwater vessels in the market. We now look forward to working together with Huntington Ingalls Industries on new maritime solutions and, at the same time, strengthening our world-leading underwater environment in Horten (Norway).”
The group is an international knowledge-based group that supplies high-tech systems and solutions to customers in the maritime sector, oil and gas, defense and aerospace industries based in Norway. Kongsberg has almost 11,000 employees in 40 countries.
Huntington Ingalls Industries is the largest U.S. military shipbuilding company and one of the major suppliers to the U.S. Navy. The head office is in Newport News, Va. The company employs more than 42,000 people in the United States and worldwide.
According to the agreement, Huntington and Kongsberg Maritime will also work collaboratively, complementing the two companies’ experience, expertise and technology.
“We are very excited about bringing Hydroid into the Huntington family and establishing a strategic alliance with Kongsberg Maritime,” said Mike Pettersen, Huntington’s president and CEO. The companies will also explore opportunities to market each other’s products to customers on a global scale and to collaborate to create innovative solutions and additional opportunities for growth.”
This article originally appeared in the March 20, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.