Textron Inc., with global sales of $14.6 billion in 2017, is acquiring the 50-employee Waterboro, ME company Howe and Howe Technologies (H&H), a developer of unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) that has established a reputation for being constructively disruptive and for thinking ‘out of the box.’ The transaction is subject to the conclusion of a definitive acquisition agreement with customary closing conditions, subsequent to which the company will become part of the corporation’s Textron Systems business.

Among the company’s notable developments are the RIPSAW, used in both military and civil applications, the THERMITE fire fighting robot and the BULLDOG family of extreme firefighting and medical evacuation platforms. Its RS2-H1 SMET UGV was selected to compete for the US Army’s first platoon-level load-carrying robot requirement.

"Textron Systems is now positioned to be a global provider of unmanned capabilities across all three domains. We are clear on the US military's vision and their future technology needs for autonomy, robotics and unmanned systems," commented Textron Systems’ President and CEO, Lisa Atherton.  "This planned acquisition demonstrates our commitment to our US military customers and an understanding of their critical work. Not just anyone can build these vehicles. Bringing together Textron Systems' and Howe & Howe's talent, capabilities and proven products will join two of the best, and we are excited at the idea of advancing the industry even further as one team."

"We are extremely pleased at the possibility of joining forces with Textron and continuing to push the laws of physics in ground mobility and robotics," added Howe & Howe Technologies’ President Michael Howe. "The deep experience and forward thinking of Textron Systems, coupled with the innovation and sheer competitiveness of Howe & Howe, will make for a formidable combination. We expect that the whole will be immeasurably greater than the sum of our parts and will be positioned to forge the 21st century world leader in ground robotics and mobility."

Howe & Howe’s RIPSAW UGV is one of the vehicles that has forced major potential users of battlefield robotics to rethink the art of the possible. (Photo: Howe & Howe Technologies)

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