Aquiline Drones (AD), the U.S. Hartford-based manufacturer of drones as well as cloud solutions provider for commercial drone operations, announced this week, via a company press release, that it has signed an exclusive American manufacturing and distribution licensing agreement with Drone Volt, a French aeronautic manufacturer of civilian drones, on-board artificial intelligence, edge computing and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) production.
The five-year deal allows Aquiline Drones to take over the global production of two unmanned craft from Drone Volt’s range of products, the Hercules 2 and Altura Zenith. AD will also be the sole manufacturer of the Pensar smart camera, a multispectral sensor, complete with artificial intelligence and edge computing capabilities. And the company will be the exclusive provider of the said products for the U.S.
Barry Alexander, CEO and founder of Aquiline Drones, said, “We are delighted with this aptly timed and mutually beneficial union with Drone Volt. While we have been only in operation for just under twenty four months, we spent almost four years incubating this idea of making Hartford ‘Drone Central’ and the State of Connecticut the ‘Drone Capital’ of the US.”
Sylvain Navarro, CFO of Drone Volt, added, “This contract is an important step for our group as it turns the largest market in the world into an important profit sector. Over the last months, we have created a strong relationship with the Aquiline Drones’ team, which may lead to additional contracts in the future.”
This development paves the way for US-based manufacturers of drones, such as Aquiline Drones, to enter an industry growing at 13.8 percent annually with a potential market of USD127 billion.
Retired General Brooks Bash, Chief Strategic Advisor at Aquiline Drones, commented, “What started as a casual conversation between our companies has quickly morphed into a close collaboration of synergies to address the needs of a fast expanding market, especially in the United States.”
Aquiline Drones’ aim to produce 1,300 drones by the end of 2020 with an increasing expected output rate of 10,000 per month by the end of 2021. The company is also adding 55 new technical and manufacturing jobs in Hartford by this year’s end, with the goal of exceeding 1,000 positions within four years.
Raza Khanji, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Aquiline Drones, is “responsible for the technology integration with Drone Volt on the combined platforms, artificial intelligence and end-to-end IoT connectivity along with implementing AD’s blockchain infrastructure. Khanji also heads AD’s Total Planetary Protection (TPP) initiative which includes AD Academy’s novel Flight to the Future (F2F) drone pilot training program, accessed via ADflight.to/future.” As part of the contract, both companies will exchange 10 percent of each company’s ownership with the other.
Alexander explained, “We believe an exchange in equity strengthens our commitment to each other. Our partnership as a publicly-traded company in Europe, will ensure robust and steady growth for its shareholders, while allowing us at Aquiline Drones access to years of cutting-edge research and development in UAS technology.”
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